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Manhattan Beach Math Clubs Shine at Competition

May 14, 2018 09:42PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Manhattan Beach's young math stars were in the spotlight recently, as an 8th grade team and a 5th grade team both took home the top prizes at a regional contest among 33 Los Angeles County school districts and 111 teams.

The Manhattan Beach MIddle School's 8th grade Competition Math Club came has excelled throughout contests this year, capping off the season with top honors at the recent Los Angeles County Office of Education's Math Field Day at Asuza Pacific University.

The eighth grade team of Joah Lee, Caroline Kiely, Lea Pepemehmetoglu, and Jadan Ip medaled in three categories: They earned a silver in Problem Solving Skill, a silver in Conceptual Understanding Skill, and a gold in Procedural/Accuracy Skill. The team then captured the overall trophy for Manhattan Beach for the first time.

The team was led by teacher/coach Dr. Matthew Ting and parent Justin Ip; with additional support from Shelley Benke, Chad Mabery, Helen Kawamoto, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, the MBMS staff, and the MBMS PTA.

“I am so grateful for the challenge and opportunities that Math Club provided. Our team was thrilled to see our hard work pay off," said team member Caroline Kiely. "Thank you to our coach, Dr. Ting.”

Team member Justin Ip added: "We are all friends and we can work together. I believe my dad telling me that our team is hard to beat.”

A fifth grade team from MBUSD also won two gold medals (in Problem Solving and Conceptual Understanding) and took home the top overall prize for the 5th grade. Team members included William Chen, Enzo Ames, and Steele Allen from Pacific Elementary School and Richard Zheng from Pennekamp Elementary School.

The team's effort was especially impressive because it was the first time any of the boys had competed in the event, and the team had only come together the day before the registration deadline. 

The boys also worked with Dr. Ting, and received additional support from Pacific Principal Rhonda Steinberg and teacher Susan Stelter.

LACOE’s Math Field Day is designed as an enrichment activity to promote mathematical reasoning, teamwork and a balanced mathematics curriculum for all students in upper elementary and middle school. Participation allows students in grades 4-8 attending traditional or charter schools in Los Angeles County to demonstrate their math knowledge through competition in the following elements: computational and procedural skill, conceptual understanding and problem-solving. It is open to 4-person teams from schools in Los Angeles County.

The Manhattan Beach City Council plans to recognize the teams at its June 5 meeting.

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