FSU to Host West Virginia State Mathematics Field Day

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The 42nd Annual West Virginia State Mathematics Field Day will be held Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30, at Fairmont State University in Fairmont. Operated and organized by the West Virginia State Mathematics Field Day Organization, the event is sponsored in part by the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Reasoning Mind. 

The event is for students in grades four through 12, with schools in each of the eight Regional Educational Service Areas (RESA) sending three students to represent their region in grade levels four through nine and 10 students to represent their region in the 10th through 12th grade competitions. The annual awards ceremony is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in Gym 1 of the Falcon Center. Parents and the community are invited to attend. 

The following counties are included in each region:

  • Region 1: Raleigh, Summers, Monroe, Mercer, McDowell, Wyoming.
  • Region 2: Mason, Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo.
  • Region 3: Putnam, Kanawha, Clay, Boone.
  • Region 4: Braxton, Webster, Pocahontas, Nicholas, Fayette, Greenbrier.
  • Region 5: Tyler, Pleasants, Wood, Ritchie, Wirt, Calhoun, Jackson, Roane.
  • Region 6: Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel.
  • Region 7: Monongalia, Marion, Preston, Harrison, Taylor, Tucker, Barbour, Doddridge, Lewis, Gilmer, Upshur, Randolph.
  • Region 8: Pendleton, Grant, Hardy, Mineral, Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley, Jefferson.

“The FSU Math Department looks forward to welcoming students and families to the Fairmont State campus. Faculty members have donated their time to write the tests for the high school students. On Saturday, the College of Science and Technology and the Office of Admissions and Recruitment will host tours for family members while students are testing,” said Dennine LaRue, site coordinator. “On Friday evening, student participants will have the opportunity to attend math activities sponsored by Reasoning Mind. We would like to thank our sponsors and the offices across the FSU campus that have been instrumental in preparing for this event.”

FSU is offering a $1,000 scholarship for the first-, second- and third-place winners in grades 10 through 12 and the student designated as the grades 10 through 12 Most Beneficial Team Member. Conditions apply, and selected students will receive additional information.

The state Mathematics Field Day event will include activities and games for grades four through nine that are challenging and fun. The activities for the students in grades 10 through 12 are patterned after those used in The American Regions Mathematics League (ARML). All the activities for both groups have been selected according to the basic philosophy that “mathematics is truly an exciting and challenging field of study.”

The events for students in grades four through nine include a written test, mental math activities, relays and estimation activities, which are both computational and physical in nature.  The mathematics faculty at Fairmont State University prepare the activities for grades 10 through 12. These activities include an exam and short answer questions, which are individual events. Each RESA team also will compete in relays, a team power question and team questions.

FSU Mathematics and preservice teachers will assist at the event. Reasoning Mind is sponsoring student participant lunches and providing box lunches for the teachers who are proctoring and scoring the events.

The West Virginia State Mathematics Field Day was established to promote increased student participation in classroom and extracurricular mathematics. These events stimulate greater interest for mathematics, recognize students who excel in mathematics and provide the opportunity for interaction of peers with common interests and abilities. The first State Math Field Day was held on May 16, 1975, in conjunction with the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting at Potomac State College.

The inspiration for the development of the West Virginia State Mathematics Field Day is credited to a presentation, “The Laboratory Approach to Mathematics,” given by Dr. Kenneth P. Kidd from the University of Florida at the 1971 Annual Meeting of the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Jerry L. Jackson, Mathematics Director for Braxton County Schools, acting on Kidd’s comments that mathematics is truly an exciting and fun subject to study, organized a mathematics field day for the students of Braxton County in the spring of 1972.

After many visits with superintendents and other curriculum representatives in several central West Virginia counties, the first regional mathematics field day was held on May 25, 1973, in a National Guard armory. Students from Braxton County, Gilmer County, Harrison County Catholic Schools, Mineral County, Nicholas County, Raleigh County, Tucker County and Webster County participated.