Local modeling

Local Students Shine in Intermediate Modeling Math Competition

The Grauer School’s middle school math modeling team, left to right, John John Garner, Zoe Baxter, Alana Millikan and Isabella Monacelli, landed in the top 20% of competitors in the inaugural middle math modeling competition.

ENCINITAS — A team of students from the Grauer School of Encinitas competed in the first Intermediate Mathematics in Modeling (MidMCM) competition in November. A total of 54 college teams representing 36 schools and four countries competed. In this competition, teams of up to four students work together to create a solution to a mathematical problem of real importance. They then explain their methods and results in a document that is submitted to the judges for evaluation. Teams are judged on the mathematical content of their solution, as well as their effectiveness in convincing the judges that their solution is optimal.

When the results of the 2021 MidMCM competition were released on January 28, the Grauer School team was thrilled to learn that they had earned a meritorious mention, placing them among the top two teams in the United States and in the top 20% of teams. who have competed around the world. The judges were impressed with the creativity and ingenuity of the mathematical modeling and their ability to clearly explain their strategies and problem-solving techniques.

This is the fifth year that the Grauer School has fielded high school teams for this contest, and their high school teams have won meritorious recognition in previous years. This was the first year the school fielded a middle school team, as it was the inaugural year of the middle school competition. Grauer’s team included eighth graders Zoe Baxter, John John Garner, and Alana Millikan, and seventh grader Isabella Monacelli. The contest problem required them to design a dog park for a fictional city that would meet various requirements and prepare a budget for building and maintaining the dog park. During the competition period in November, students were excused from their other classes to spend two days analyzing and solving this complex problem. On Nov. 10, they submitted their final solution in a 22-page report, along with spreadsheets, sketches, plans, and a 3D rendering of their proposed dog park.

Peter Mannisto, Mathematics teacher and team advisor, said: “I am incredibly proud of our team’s hard work and enthusiasm throughout the competition. Working together over several days to solve a problem that is clearly applicable to the real world gives middle schoolers a whole new perspective on what math is.

“Another important aspect of this contest is that there is not just one right answer. Students came up with an answer (such as their draft dog park plan), and they were judged on how carefully they prepared their park, researched the costs involved, and made recommendations for further park expansions. Manisto added.

Looking back on the competition, everyone on the team said they enjoyed the experience and were excited to do it again next year. Garner said, “We applied our geometry skills to map the irregularly shaped trapezoidal area of ​​the dog park.” Millikan said, “It was difficult to use different programs and apps to create budget spreadsheets, 3D renderings and plans for the dog park.” Baxter said, “Our team had a lot of fun collaborating.” Monacelli added: “It was the teamwork that made our project successful, because of the combination of skills we all provided.”