Final Math Battle

RIPLEY – For six years, the Ripley Central School District has celebrated math during the week of Pi Day, March 14. The annual event again brought cheers to the gym but this year will more than likely be the last for the event, prompting some tears.

To conclude the week, the fifth annual Math Battle of Classes was held in the gym to put students in grades 7 through 12 against each other in a variety of challenges. Math Teachers Lisa Stonefoot and Donna Lauzon started the Math Battle of the Classes in 2009. According to Stonefoot, Math Week was a way to incorporate fun following testing.

“When we originally started it, the three- through eighth-grade tests were in March. It was always the week after the tests were over and it was the giant hooray … and let’s have a little bit of time to celebrate,” she said.

Stonefoot said the student council always does a battle of the classes for the high school students in conjunction with Homecoming. She approached student council to see about incorporating battle of the classes with math week.

“For homecoming every year, the student council sponsors a battle of the classes for ninth through 12th grade with similar (contests) and it’s really physical. We decided to incorporate math week,” she said. “I talked with student council and they were OK with it. We made it math based and this way it includes the middle school as well as the high school.”

Students competed in 12 different games to earn points for their respective grade. The games included a banner contest, a can drive, a tangram art contest, Plinko, a scavenger hunt, a marshmallow shooting contest, a search for numbers to use in various math problems, Ripley-opoly – a version of Monopoly, a math word search and recitation of Pi digits. Two other games that were involved which were meant more for fun than math were a whipped cream pie contest where students had to find three cookies in the pie as well as trying to eat a donut attached to a fishing pole.

“It’s been great because the competitions aren’t physical. You can’t put a seventh grader and a senior in the same physical activity and expect them to be equal. We just wanted to have something fun,” Stonefoot said.

Leading up to the Battle of the Classes was Math Week with each day having a different theme – number day, similar day, ancient Greek day and ‘pi’-rate day. New this year was a math fair for elementary students which included carnival themed games celebrating math.

“The math fair… was new. I had so many kids volunteer to be in the gym to help the little ones. I think that was the most awesome thing to see is that we are a pre-k through 12th district and to see all the kids working together and coming together as a building is really neat,” Stonefoot said. “I think they poured their heart and soul into it knowing this is it.”

Because Ripley residents recently voted to approve tuitioning high school students to another district, this was likely the last math battle, said Stonefoot.

“It’s very bittersweet. This week has been absolutely fantastic. The kids have been wonderful,” she said. “It’s been really cool to see pre-kindergarten all the way through 12th grade dress like pirates and doing the whole thing. It’s really hard knowing that this is it. I’m happy for them and I wanted the week to be super for them and it turned out great.”

After the final tabulations were in, the seniors were the ones to take the coveted Pi Day trophy. Coming in second place was the sophomores with juniors in third. Freshman took fourth place and seventh and eighth graders were in a tie for fifth place.

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