80th Annual Middle School Math Contest

Every year, Central High E-Math students and volunteers help put on the Middle School Math Contest at Central. Students and teachers spend months planning and preparing in advance every year to ensure that all goes well. Current E-Math teacher and Middle School Math Contest coordinator, Lauren Beitel has been running the contest since 2016. “All of the E-Math students are always very helpful. Getting them to understand and do everything that needs to be done for all of it to come together is the most crucial part each year.”  

Unfortunately, Covid-19 cancelled last year’s contest due to the restricted capacity of the building and many students having to learn remotely. However, this gave extra time for everyone helping with the event to begin working on this year’s contest. Beitel explains, “We did get a head start on question writing because last year’s students wrote them which allowed us a nice starting point.”  

Even so, there was a lot of preparation required for hosting this event, especially considering this year’s sophomores never had the chance to carry out a Middle School Math Contest before. Lauren Beitel coordinates the event by mailing invitations to schools, ordering the correct amount of pizza for everyone, making decorations, printing T-shirts, assigning jobs to students, and more. Sam Pieper is a junior in his third year of E-Math, “We help out mainly by writing questions for the bowl rounds and doing our assigned jobs on the evening of the contest. This year I was an ambassador for McMillan and helped guide them to the rooms they were competing in.”  

This year, 164 middle school students from 24 middle schools came to Central for the contest. A large tournament bracket was displayed in front of the courtyard entrance where it was updated by students as they got the results from freshmen runners. Bluffs Middle School beat Moore Middle School in a very tense buzzer round final held in the black box theatre.  

Lauren Beitel says, “I would consider this year’s middle school math contest a success. We’re always considering different formats for parts of the contest, and always tweaking things to make it run more efficiently. Always the goal is just to make it better than the last one.” Students, staff, volunteers, and especially Lauren Beitel showed they could pull off yet another successful year of the Middle School Math Contest even through the hardships of a global pandemic.