Dartmouth Middle School students crowned state math champs

Dec 21, 2017

A group of Dartmouth Middle School math whizzes showed the state what they were made of by earning the top spot in a Massachusetts math competition.

The 21 competitive, quick-thinking, and computing sixth graders, led by teacher Hugh O’Mara, came in first place in the Sumdog Math Contest, beating out 87 other classes across the Commonwealth.

Sumdog is a computer math program built around "engaging adaptive math learning."

In non-math lingo, that means Sumdog adapts questions for each student based on their ability. So while the problems are all to sixth grade standards with subjects like fractions, decimals, and ratios, O'Mara noted "Everyone is working at the hardest level they can."

The competition to crack Sumdog's mammoth math competition, which required each student competitor to complete 1,000 math problems in one week, all came about when O'Mara told the students about the challenge and hit them with this game-changing question, “Do you want to win this competition?"

Their answer? They sure did!

"I just laid out what the kids would have to do to win and they did it," O'Mara said.

Even though the competition is over and a first-place Sumdog trophy is en route to Dartmouth Middle School, O'Mara noted the math geniuses can't stop computing.

“They’re addicted and play on their phone in class and on the bus," O'Mara said.

And while the idea of cracking one math problem - never mind 1,000 - may seem a bit fear-inducing to non-math lovers, O’Mara shares his number one piece of advice, “Keep trying and give it your best effort. Everybody is a mathematician.”