Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

OMC participants win awards in Math Kangaroo Competition


Ari Azbel, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, is a senior at Lake Highland Preparatory and a former student of the Jewish Academy of Orlando. He is also the founder of Orlando Math Circle (www.orlandomathcircle.org), a 501(c)3 organization founded in the tradition of Eastern European math circles to  provide opportunities to local students to do novel and enriching mathematics, as well as to provide teaching and leadership opportunities for high school, college, and graduate students.

“Our mission is to create a diverse and inclusive community of student mathematicians,” said Azbel.

Math circle programs first appeared in the U.S. in the 1990s, as more and more Eastern Europeans came to the U.S. and wanted to organize math circles in their new home country. Today, Math Circle programs are run by leading Universities and have chapters in California, Massachusetts, and New York among other states. Orlando Math Circle is a relatively new entrant with a mission is to create a diverse community of mathematicians by promoting equitable access to mathematics and greater student participation in Central Florida.

OMC has already made an impact in the Orlando community in several ways: 

• Bringing the first K-12 Math Kangaroo competition to Orlando

• Holding monthly Math Circle events for elementary age students

• Bringing Math Circle activities to Meadowbrook Middle school

• Starting a Mathematical Library available to any of our students

• Organizing the Orlando Trianglethon, a community math and arts event

• Bringing guest speakers to discuss math-related careers and projects to students

Orlando Math Circle has five participants who placed at the national level and won top awards in the state. Among these five, three were state winners in the USA Math Kangaroo  competition held in Orlando on March 16, 2017:  

• Nikhil Katiyar of Pride Elementary school won first place in Florida and fourth place nationally at level three.   

• Kateryna Simachova of Cypress Woods Elementary, won second place in Florida and fifteenth place nationally at level one.

• Adwaith Praveen of Tampa Palms Elementary won third place in Florida and placed twelfth nationally at level three.

The final two of the five, Brian Lee of Tampa Palms Elementary and Amal Francis Papali of Seminole Science Charter school, placed 11th and 18th, respectively, in the U.S. at level four. 

Math Kangaroo is the largest competition for 1st-12th grade in the world, with over  5,000,000 participants in more than 50 countries. This year, USA had over 28,000 participants. The competition is held annually on the third Thursday in March. The mission of Math Kangaroo is to encourage mastery of Mathematics at all levels and to instill confidence in students.  Orlando Math Circle is a nonprofit that uses activities like Math Kangaroo to further its mission of creating a diverse and inclusive community of student mathematicians. OMC provides  opportunities to do novel and enriching mathematics outside of school as well as leadership and community service opportunities for older students. 

The Orlando Math Circle is currently inviting members of the community of all ages to collaborate on building one of the largest Sierpinski Triangle fractals ever built. For more information on the Trianglethon 2017, visit the Orlando Math Circle’s website: http://www.orlandomathcircle.org/trianglethon-2/

FASTSIGNS Orlando Central sponsored book bundles for each student to inspire them to play with mathematics this summer.


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