Students on the Wayzata High School Math Team took first place in this year's Moody's Mega Math Challenge out of 1,054 submitted papers. The team earned first place after its 15-minute presentation in New York on April 29 at Moody's Corporation headquarters in Manhattan to a panel of professional applied mathematicians.
The team won the top scholarship prize from The Moody's Foundation's of $20,000 for the team. WHS Team members in this competition include Seniors Jenny Lai, Abram Sanderson, Amy Xiong, Lynn Zhang and Roy Zhao. The team is coached by WHS math teacher Thomas Kilkelly.
The goal of the Moody's Mega Math Challenge is to spotlight the relevancy and power of mathematics in solving real-world issues and inspire students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. The contest's topic this year is especially relevant as 2013 has been designated the International Year of Mathematics on Planet Earth. Every five seconds, Americans use 60,000 plastic bags and consume 2,000 bottled drinks. The 5,809 math students across 29 states spent last weekend devising methods to quantify and manage this waste for the challenge.
During Challenge weekend, students were given 14 hours to work in teams of 3-5 to solve the problem. Each group had to quantify the plastic waste filling our nation's landfills, come up with the best recycling methods for U.S. cities to implement based on their demographics, and recommend guidelines for nationwide recycling standards.
Front row from left to right are Lynn Zhang, Amy Xiong and Jenny Lai.
Back row from left to right are Roy Zhao, Abram Sanderson and coach Thomas Kilkelly.