160 North Idaho students participate in math contest; Sandpoint topples Charter’s streak

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(LOREN BENOIT/Hagadone News Network) Area high school students on Tuesday compete in the 38th annual High School Math Contest at North Idaho College. Sandpoint High toppled Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy’s three-year winning streak.

Test your problem-solving

1. Two joggers, Bob and Alice, start 10 miles apart and run toward each other, each running at a steady pace of 5 mph.

As they begin, a bee leaves Bob and flies to Alice at a constant 15 mph. When it reaches Alice, she tries to swat it and it immediately turns around and flies back to Bob, who also tries to swat it.

his repeats until Alice finally swats it on Bob's shirt. What is the total distance that the bee flies?

2. A hall 130 feet in length was designed as an elliptical whispering gallery. If the ceiling is 25 feet high at the center, how far from the center are the foci located?

Answers: 1. 15 miles; 2. 60 feet

How long will it take for prices in the economy to double at a 7 percent annual inflation rate, rounded to the nearest year?

You have 30 seconds.

Pencils down.

The answer: 10 years.

Questions like this were a piece of cake (or, perhaps, pi ...) for several area high-schoolers who participated in the 38th annual North Idaho College High School Math Competition on Tuesday.

"It's just a really unique opportunity to get 160 of the brightest young minds in North Idaho in one area at one time," said competition emcee and associate math professor Damian Caires. "You see the faces on the kids, it definitely adds confidence to them."

Students from 12 North Idaho schools tested their on-the-spot mathematical mettle as they quickly answered word problems and solved equations.

"Math is fun in a way because it’s kind of like solving a puzzle,” Priest River High School junior Shelby Hanna said. "That’s what’s fun for me about it."

Previous tournament champion Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy was represented by several students in white shirts and blue ties. And they had cheers:

"2-4-6-8! Who do we appreciate? Pythagoras!” the mathletes chanted.

With "math" in his name, Charter junior Matthew Mahnke expressed dismay after being toppled by Sandpoint High School after his school had won the past three years.

“There’s a lot of pressure on us," he said. "We’ve had a long winning streak, and we didn’t win today. That’s kind of disappointing. Our team could have been more coordinated."

They still had fun.

"It’s just something that we’re good at," Matthew said. "Everyone likes to be able to compete, and this is something that we’re able to compete at. It’s really cool, especially for people that do specialize in math, to go to a competition like this because you’re surrounded by other people that also enjoy math."

Here are the winners of this year's high school math competition:


Division 1 Winners: Sandpoint High School

Division 2 Winners: North Idaho STEM Charter Academy

Individual Winners

Seniors, Division 1

1st Kristen Nethercott – Coeur d’Alene High School

2nd Joeli Leyendecker – Sandpoint High School

3rd Dylan McCaughan – Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy

Seniors, Division 2

1st Grace Lee – Genesis Prep

2nd Yunji Kim – Genesis Prep

3rd Garrett Renner – Kootenai High School

Juniors and younger, Division 1

1st Matthew Womelduff – Coeur d’Alene Charter

2nd Matthew Mahnke – Coeur d’Alene Charter

3rd Lilian Smith – Coeur d’Alene High School

Honorable Mention – George Pierowski – Coeur d’Alene

Juniors and younger, Division 2

1st Nathan Bosse – Classical Christian

2nd Noah Moreland – North Idaho STEM Charter Academy

3rd Austin Kugler – North Idaho STEM Charter Academy

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