RCMS students participate in TJIMO for the first time

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Varsity Math Team

Ms. Lee (far left) and the seven RCMS students chosen for the TJIMO gather in front of the TJHSST building on the day of the contest.

Hailey Deng, Writer

Seven middle school students participated in the Thomas Jefferson Intermediate Math Open on March 19 as RCMS representatives, winning multiple awards.

The TJIMO is a math competition hosted by Thomas Jefferson High School’s Varsity Math Team for middle schools, public and private, in the Washington, D.C., area. The TJIMO has been hosted for over 30 years, but this school year is the first time RCMS has participated.

“[The VMT student coaches] teach and they lead different kinds of activities to teach problem-solving strategies,” said Ms. Mary Lee, an eighth-grade math teacher who chaperoned the students from RCMS.

A maximum of seven students from each middle school can participate in the math competition, and they must be in a math level from Math 7 to Geometry HN. The seven students from RCMS were chosen randomly out of the students that signed up and sent an email to notify them.

“I was very shocked [when I got the confirmation email] because I just signed up, and I thought, ‘I’m probably not going to get in anyways, but might as well,’” Yana Baranwal, a seventh-grader on the Trailblazers team who was chosen for the TJIMO, said. “Then, when I got in … I was really in shock.”

The competition has three sections, the individual round, coaching, and the final math competition. Although the coaching was centered around the Euler’s Formula this year, there were still a variety of questions.

“There were typical math competition questions,” Shaurya Ahuja, an eighth-grader on the Explorers team said, “like stuff that would take forever to solve if you solved it manually, but there’s always a trick.”

Multiple students from RCMS got placements in the TJIMO. Rishitha Mantri, a seventh-grader on the Dream Team, placed third in the Individual Algebra 1 Contest, and her team placed third overall. Annapoorani Alagappan, an eighth-grader on the Voyagers Team, placed second in the team event. Ryan Chan, a seventh-grader on the Champions Team, placed second in the Individual Algebra 1 Contest, and his team placed first overall.

“I feel like we could’ve done better,” Rishitha said, “but for our first time as a team, we did good.”