On March 3rd of this year, 12 Grace Prep students competed against the best mathematicians from 23 schools across DFW in a battle of wits and numbers at the University of Texas at Arlington.
This annual battle is the Calculus Bowl, a showcase of incredible achievement in mathematics where students compete for awards in a multitude of categories.
GPA made it to the semi-finals as one of the top 12 teams.
Considering the best of the best competed, the students made sure to prepare thoroughly for the intense showdown.
They were prepped by Calculus teacher Dr. Larissa Owens, who attended the event with Principal Susan Crosier.
“In a sense we’ve been preparing all year because the calculus bowl questions are a similar caliber to the AP Calculus multiple choice problems we’ve been learning,” said Dr. Owens.
Dr. Owens described the process by which the students were chosen for the event.
“The students took a practice AP Calculus test to determine the ‘starters’ for our five-man team,” said Dr. Owens.
Seniors Sarah Peck, Will Pinon, Ellie Parker, Matt Hudspeth, Payton Hall, and Colin Toulouse were among the starters.
Seniors Jay Sedwick and Maggie Bullington subbed in over the course of the competition while Seniors Sam Mullins, Paige Jiles, Brendan Walters, and Sophomore Jessica Friberg all contributed in cheering on the team as well.
“The team also spent time developing strategies in the days leading up to the competition to help prepare for the speed and design scoring of the competition,” said Dr. Owens.
Many of the Grace Prep students waited eagerly for the opportunity to use the famous term, “the limit does not exist”, as an answer.
Eventually there was a question requiring this answer, and the team won some points enthusiastically!
There were many incredible moments during the bowl, some of which were intense.
“It was so intense watching the score board, they would announce the correct answer and the team would know they got it correct but had to wait to see if they got the answer in fast enough to get points, only the first 3 teams to submit the correct answers were awarded points toward their score,” said Dr. Owens. “The celebration that would come when the team saw they were in the top spots for a problem was so fun!”
The Grace Prep lions won first place in the team spirit category because of their “Calculus Cowboy” outfits, complete with math signs, mottos, and puns related to cowboys.
Their costumes even had calculator holsters!
The competitors had a great time making new friends, and Dr. Owens even got to catch up with several of her previous professors from graduate school! The UTA science ambassadors put on a show with experiments involving nitrogen, dry ice, and fire!
It was an unforgettable experience for all who were involved, and the team took home their award with pride