Friday, February 7, 2014

Mississippi College Math and Science Tournament

January and February always seem to be busy months for academic competitions and extracurriculars. Thursday was the Mississippi College Mathematics and Science Tournament. The competition is actually two days: Thursday and Friday, but we chose to attend on Thursday. Eleven seniors and juniors from MSMS competed.
The morning portion of the competition consists of two written tests, in some combination of Math, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics (each student chooses which tests they would like to take). I took Math and Biology. Math was 40 questions in 45 minutes. It was all material I had learned before, but I was a lot weaker in geometry than I should have been. I last took geometry in the ninth grade, and although the problems were familiar, I had forgotten some of the theorems and postulates that would have been good to know. After a short break, the Biology test was 100 questions in 45 minutes. I thought this would be a struggle to finish in time, but I actually finished with more extra time than I had for the Math test. The questions were very straightforward.
After lunch, there was the Quiz Bowl style competition. Although it is called a "Quiz Bowl" competition, it is actually quite different from anything else I have ever done. I played on the team, along with three of my cohorts. Many teams would play at once, and the games were 40 questions long. Questions were math and science focused, and displayed on a projector screen. Captains had to raise their hand, with their answer written on a folded piece of paper in their hand. Checkers for each team verified if answers were correct, and spotters watched which teams raised their hands first. Points were received for first, second, and third fastest correct answers.
After this, there was the awards ceremony. Disappointingly, the computer system had issues, and individual placements were not announced. For the school wide competition, we do not compete, because MSMS students represent schools from all over the state. However, we did win 2nd place in the Quiz Bowl portion of the competition: Oxford took 1st place, and we beat Jackson Prep for 3rd place. We later looked up our placement for the individual scores. MSMS had four scores in the top 1%, one in the top 3%, and several in the top 10% and top 20%.
It made me miss my quiz bowl team - it was like something I would have done with them. I had thought I would get to see them there, but my home school chose to attend the competition on Friday instead, so that didn't happen, which was a bit disappointing. However, I enjoyed the competition, and the day off of school.

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