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Fredonia to host annual high school Math/Science Challenge
Sunday, May 18, 2014

Nearly 400 students from 19 high schools in Western New York will flock to SUNY Fredonia to explore “Grease – STEM is the Word!” at the 14th annual Math/Science Challenge on Thursday, May 22.

Seven activities or challenges have been designed by faculty in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, with support from colleagues in the remaining STEM disciplines (Science, Technology and Engineering) to give high school students a greater appreciation for the applicability and power of mathematics, science and engineering.

Each event requires students to work as a team to creatively apply numerous aspects of mathematics and science. In addition to numerous awards to be given to winning teams, organizers hope the experience inspires students to pursue a career that incorporates mathematics, science and engineering.

The first event, “We Go Together Like Smadness,” strengthens understanding of mathematical operations while sharpening problem solving skills and fostering teamwork. Using dice, teams of students, drawing upon any mathematical operation of their choice, will create the year and license plate codes of Grease-themed Smadness by applying digits provided by the referee.

In “Summer Lovin’: Had Me a Geometric Blast,” students will recreate figures of true love by reading the clues of their partners without seeing the design or having their partners communicate with their hands. The result is geometric graffiti.

Envisioned as T-Bird engineering at its best, “Go Greased Lightning…” challenges students to make a car, or rolling chassis, out of cobbled materials that is fast, handles well and can win at the racetrack.

Precision is the key in “Be Cool and Walk Like Danny Zuko.” In this tournament style double elimination approach students compete head-to-head in teams using a randomly selected distance/time graph. Each team will select a captain to strut like Danny.

“Hopelessly Devoted to: Units!” tests student knowledge of the units used in science and unit conversion.

In “T-bird Pea Shooter Take Home Challenge,” students bring a pre-engineered and pre-assembled catapult that they will deploy to launch a specified object that travels a specified distance and lands on a specified target.

All students will assemble in the Steele Hall gym for “Rydell High’s Math/Science Skills Competition in the final event. Teams of four to six students will compete in four Grease-themed events – “Prom Prep Handjive Dance Off,” “Principal McGee’s Best Guess,” “Beauty School Drop Out” and “You’re the One that I Want” -- that test foundational math and science skills.

Trophies and tee-shirts will be presented to winning teams.

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