Students Compete In “World’s Largest Ciphering Contest”

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Nearly 900 students from all over the nation are competing in the Grissom High School Mathematics Contest early Saturday morning.

Heads bent, pencils scratch, then erase again. The sound of nearly nine hundred students solving math problems as fast as they can sounds like what you would imagine: quiet.

“Grissom High School has been hosting the math tournament for 27 years,” Grissom Math Team Coach Cindy Rodgers says.

Saturday adds another year to that long-standing tradition that’s grown exponentially. “We’ve moved to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center with their help, because we can accommodate more students in the room,” Rodgers says.

The problems at hand range in difficulty from Pre-algebra to algebra II.

Some of the kids dividing and multiplying on a high level are still in single digits. “We have students from elementary school coming but for the most part it’s middle and high school,” Rodgers says.

Rodgers says this particular competition gives those elementary school kids a chance to show off their skills with high schoolers. “Ten years ago, all the math team events were from high school, and here at Grissom we’ve expanded the excitement down to elementary school.”

But overall this tournament dubbed the world’s largest gives students a chance to do what they love. “The kids are super excited about math. We’ve got little kids who want to grow up to be mathletes,” Rodgers says.

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