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Pupils win state math competition

May 14, 2011
By WARREN SCOTT - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

Four Brooke County pupils placed first in their respective grade levels at a statewide math competition, and three placed within the top six in the fast-paced contest.

The seven were among 200 who competed in the West Virginia Math Field Day competition held April 29-30 at Marshall University and among 15 Brooke County pupils who advanced to the event after placing within the top three in their respective grade levels at a regional competition held in Wheeling in March.

Placing first in their respective grade levels were: Emily Donley, a fourth-grader at Wellsburg Primary School; Margaret Camilletti, a fifth-grader at Wellsburg Middle School; and seventh-grader Dalton Minger and eighth-grader Chris Beaman, both of Follansbee Middle School.

Also a top finisher was seventh-grader Drew Garrett of Follansbee Middle School, who placed second among in his grade division, with just a point behind Minger, said Erin Ankrum, a math teacher at the school.

She added eighth-grader Abbi Yachini placed fifth and only after losing a three-way tie-breaker for third place, while classmate Jakob Heilman placed sixth for that grade division.

Helping to prepare the students for the competition were Scott Abercrombie, the school's seventh-grade math teacher; and Ankrum, who teaches eighth-grade math.

Donley's teacher and coach was Karen Zumpetta, and Camilletti's teacher and coach was Linda Burch.

Many of the local winners competed successfully in the competition in the past.

Camilletti placed first last year as a fourth-grader from Wellsburg Primary School, and Garrett placed first among sixth-graders then. Heilman, Beaman and Minger also placed in the top four for their respective grade levels last year.

Pupils in grades 4-9 in the contest compete in four areas:

Mental exact, which requires students to provide, without the aid of a calculator, pen or pencil, the exact answer to a math problem given orally.

Mental estimation, which requires the same mental work but because of the difficulty of the problems posed, the students' answer may be within 10 percent above or below the correct answer.

The estimation room, where students estimate the length, volume, weight, capacity and number of a variety of every-day items.

A 40-question written examination.

Students in grades 10-12 compete through a written test and individual and team rounds.

Though high school students competing in the state competition may advance to a national event held by the American Regions Mathematics League, there is no national level for the younger pupils.

(Scott can be contacted at

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