Middle school girls compete in Woodlands Academy Mathalon
A trio of 8th-grade students from Northbrook Junior High School was the winning team at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart's 10th annual Mathalon event on Oct. 1. Team members Miranda Cassidy, Amy Yoon and Lauren Minyoung Yoon took home the first-place trophy. In all, nearly three dozen 7th- and 8th-grade girls from seven schools in Lake and Cook counties competed. They spent a Saturday morning putting their math skills to the test in creative, problem-solving ways at the all-girls college-prep day-and-boarding high school in Lake Forest.
Finishing in second place this year was Grayslake's St. Gilbert Catholic School Team 1 followed by Wadsworth's St. Patrick School Team 1 in third place, Lake Forest's East Lake Academy Team 1 in fourth and Chicago' St. Constance School Team 2 rounding out the top five.
Also participating in this year's Woodlands Academy Mathalon were Lake Bluff Middle School and Lake Forest Country Day School.
There were no rote paper and pencil drills in this competition, according to Rocco Gargiulo, Woodlands Academy principal (and former math teacher at the school).
Teams of three middle school girls tackled a variety of fun and engaging mathematical tasks such as building, counting, drawing, estimating, folding and hypothesizing with Woodlands students serving as their guides and cheerleaders.
"These events were hands-on cooperative activities that engaged students to use mathematics in creative, problem-solving ways. The events involved mathematical computation, estimation, visual/spatial reasoning, logic and the use of technology," Gargiulo said.
Woodlands Academy is an independent Catholic day-and-boarding high school for young women in grades nine through 12 that promotes academic, artistic and athletic excellence along with global awareness, social responsibility and strong faith.
According to research cited by the International Coalition of Girls' Schools, all-girls schools lead the way in graduating women who become our nation's scientists, doctors, engineers, designers and inventors. Research shows that girls' school graduates are more likely to consider majoring in math, science and technology and are more likely to consider engineering careers than girls who attend coed schools.