Polaris Math Stars Make Math Fun at Citywide Competition


Polaris Math Stars Shine

On February 7, seven Polaris 5th and 6th grade students participated in a city-wide math competition put on by MathLeague.Org and hosted by St. Benedict Preparatory School. Polaris mathletes Aerise, Cecilia, Ciara, G’Shauni, Jahmariyon, Treyshaun, and Za’Nyah joined hundreds of other middle school students from public and private schools across Chicago. Summing up their experience, Za’Nyah said: “When life throws math at you, make it fun.” Aerise added, “At Polaris, there’s nothing you can’t learn.”

This is Polaris’ first year participating in this day-long maths competition. Our students were not only impressive and strong competitors, they made their mark. The Polaris team is highly skilled at solving advanced math problems, and they all work above grade level. They competed as a team in one match, and then worked independently in three individual competitions. Polaris student Za’Nyah came in Third Place among all 6th graders, and Aerise (5th grade) was invited to the next round and will be competing in the state competition to be held this spring.

MathLeague.Org organizes more than 200 math competitions across the U.S., reaching over 20,000 elementary, middle and high school students each year. This competition helps promote student interest in mathematics and provides them with a positive learning experience and above all shows that math is fun.

Selected by their math teacher Ms. Colleen Hall, these seven Polaris math stars have been preparing for competition for a few weeks. “We had homework, and studied online and had to complete a big packet high school level math problems,” said Jahmariyon. Ms. Hall stated: “I am really proud of our students who competed. They worked so hard and it all paid off. They went above and beyond to prepare for this competition. It was exciting to see them compete against other kids.”

Naming themselves the Polaris Polar Bear Math Pack, each student reflected on their experience.

Aerise: “I was very nervous at first and worried I wouldn’t be able to do the work quickly. But I stopped myself from stressing because we had prepared for this competition. I realized I can do this, and I released everything in my mind, got my hopes up, and could go with the flow. When I learned I was going on to the state competition I was very happy and called my Mom to share it with her. The impossible is possible when you make it possible.”

Cecilia: “It was hard, but it was fun at the same time. I learned a lot from it. When we were preparing there was a lot I didn’t know, but I learned it.”

Ciara: “I felt nerve-cited, I was both nervous and excited to be representing Polaris. It was also scary going against lots of other intelligent kids. But I felt proud and I did well.”

Jahmariyon: “It was fun representing Polaris. It was exciting to be competing with so many other kids. Other kids asked me about Polaris, and I shared about the Points of Polaris.”

Treyshaun: “I learned that I succeed in math, but I struggle with reading. There were a lot of story problems, and I realize that I need to start reading more in my spare time.”

Za’Nyah competed against hundreds of 6th graders and came in Third Place overall. “When I heard my name I was in shock. I was about to cry, I couldn’t believe it. It felt good hearing my name being called and knowing I did well. Even though they were a lot of hard math problems to solve, it was fun. We made it explode.”

When asked how the Points of Polaris helped them achieve, they shared: “We were Critical Thinkers solving math problems. We were Explorers overcoming our fears and nerves. We showed Compassion encouraging other students and clapping for students who won awards. One student added, “When I doubted myself, I realized I was disrespecting myself and my mindset, so I had compassion for myself.” Critical Thinking plus Compassion plus being an Explorer equals success every time.

Congratulations Polaris Polar Bear Math Pack. We are so proud of you!