Adding to the competition: Mathletes to UNL

Arriving early, DCHS students take their seats and await the opening ceremony. This year’s math competition hosted a record number of over 1,700 students.

Olivia Couch, Co-Editor

Since 1989, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has sponsored a day where high school students from all over Nebraska come together to take a math test. Yes, a math test. With over 1,500 students gathered on a nice November day, you may be wondering what brings these students together.

The students who choose to participate in the exam undergo what UNL calls the PROBE test. The top 40 scoring students, under three percent of those who attend, are called to then take the PROBE II test. If a student were to score in the top ten of all students participating, UNL will award them with a total of $32,000 in four-year scholarships at the college. Those who don’t move on to the PROBE II test have a chance at redemption during a double-elimination Math Bowl competition. The teams are broken into six sections, and each team consists of three people. The top three teams in each section, for math purposes we’ll conclude 18 teams and 54 students, will be awarded with a trophy.

“Math Day, for me, was an interesting experience. There were students of all sorts who attended,” senior Evan Forney said. “The other part about math day I really enjoyed was the free time. With breaks between jeopardy rounds, we were able to explore plenty of the UNL campus.”

On the Thurs., Nov. 17, David City High School sent nine students to participate in this year’s Math Day competition at UNL. Those students consisted of seniors Matthew Lewis, Evan Forney, Kylie Hascall, and Ross Kirby; juniors Renee Backstrom, Seth Styskal, Olivia Couch, and Angel Sweeney; and sophomore Allie Daro.

After completing the hour-long test, the math bowl session was set into action. The team consisted of Lewis, Couch, and Forney. At the end of the day, the team had participated in three competitions before heading home. Overall– through the test, free lunch, math bowl, and Dairy Queen stop afterwards– most students seemed to enjoy the trip.

“I do find it useful, because it’s a good test to see how well I know my math,” Lewis said. “I would recommend them [other students] to go, because it’s a good experience and gets you a break from school for a day.”