Wellsburg pupil wins state math contest

WELLSBURG — A fifth-grader at Wellsburg Middle School emerged the winner of the West Virginia Math Field Day competition for his grade level.

Christian Packer, the son of Jami and Dennis Packer, said he was shocked to learn he placed first among 24 fifth-graders competing in the statewide competition held April 22 at West Virginia University but admitted he “studied, studied, studied every single day” to prepare for it.

He acknowledged teachers Lynette Martin and Dana Griffin for assisting him.

Packer advanced to the state level after placing third among fifth-graders in the regional Math Field Day competition held in March at Wheeling Park High School and first at the county level.

Fellow Wellsburg Orange Knights Brady Mercer, Louis Delatore and Clyde Vanderpool had advanced to the state level after placing within the top three for their grade levels at the regional competition.

Math Field Day involves pupils in grades fourth through eighth through four segments:

¯ Mental exact, requiring pupils to provide, without the aid of a calculator, pen or pencil, the exact answer to a math problem given orally.

¯ Mental estimation, requiring the same mental work but because of the difficulty of the problems posed, a pupil’s answer may be within 10 percent above or below the correct answer.

¯ Estimation room, where pupils estimate the length, volume, weight, capacity and number of a variety of every-day items.

¯ A 40-question written examination.

It’s Packer’s first year to participate in the competition, and he plans to do so again next year.