A Special Equation

Lakeland Math Students travel to Moscow for Competition


Matthew Wirtz, News Writer

On March 4th, Lakeland High School students departed from their high school at 6:15 am on their way to a math competition in Moscow, at the University of Idaho.

About halfway through the two-hour bus ride, Shannon Mattila, a math teacher at LHS and the advisor for the trip, stood up at the front of the bus and begin to try and cram as much information into her students’ heads as possible.

Mattila drew on a piece of paper trying to teach about chords on circles. However, with a bus driving fifty miles per hour down a highway and the teacher being five feet tall, it was difficult for the students in the back to fully grasp the concept that she was teaching. 

Eventually, the math teacher gave up and sat back down, waiting for the bus to reach its destination. 

Students filed out of the bus after reaching the university, where they ate breakfast and began to prepare for the test. 

Eventually, it was time, and students met with their 3 teammates in the test-taking room. A presentation about the rules as shown and the students had two hours to finish ten questions to the best of their ability.

After the test was finished, students would get an hour to eat lunch on campus, and then they would get results on how they did on the test.

Cody Morse, an LHS student and a competitor in the competition, enjoyed his time taking the test.

“It was a lot of fun. It was like a puzzle that I got to work through with my friends,” Morse said. 

Afterward, there was an award ceremony to see the places of what all the students got. 

Cody Morse’s team, which included Thomas Calder, Avery Sabatke, and Matthew Wirtz, place 5th out of thirteen teams in the Precalculus category. The team got 43.4 points out of 100.

Another LHS team placed 6th, gaining 39.9 points out of 100. The team included Avery Scott-Fudge, Erik Gordillo Briske, Caysen Loutzenhiser, and Owen Forsman.

Loutzenhiser said he was mainly there to hang out with his friends and to enjoy the food there. 

“I was mostly excited to have Chick-fil-A for the first time, however, I was a little disappointed. The chicken was really juicy, but the bun was a little dry,” Loutzenhiser said. 

Mattila plans on preparing more for next years competition. Almost all of the teams from Lakeland had no preparation.

“Now that we know there are cash prizes, I’m definitely going to have next years teams practice more,” Mattila said.