McCullough’s Math March Madness

AP Calculus students participate in a month long math tournament


This last week, Mrs. Tara McCullough’s AP Calculus AB and BC classes wrapped up their Math March Madness competition.

For the past 15 years, McCullough has brought the March Madness excitement into her classroom by doing a math competition in each of her classes.

“It is the March Madness Math Dual Tournament and it’s a fun way to have a little competition. It’s a way to liven up [the class], make math a little more fun. It doesn’t require anything in addition to what you normally would be doing in class, it’s..a way to get kids involved, plus there is a little lecture involved,” said McCullough.

The students are not required to participate, however many choose to due to the small and helpful extra credit incentive offered to those who advance through each round.

“It was kind of stressful, but it was also fun. I was most nervous about the calculator speed rounds, so I would practice pushing buttons,” said junior Ethan Stanley, one of the winners.

The students loved the competition as it gets them more involved in each day’s warm up and encourages them to study past units.

“I really liked March Madness because it made me a little excited to go to class everyday. It helped me be more involved in the lectures and tied perfectly into each day’s lesson,” said senior Emelyn Dizon.  

However, not all students were happy with how the competition went for them, some being eliminated within the first round or two.

“I just want to say that Mrs. McCullough picked the one day she knew I was on five hours of sleep and she knew that when she saw me and she picked me. That’s all I have to say,” said senior Justin McCurdy.

One of the students favorite things to watch were the calculator speed rounds.

“The calculator speed round is when we basically tied on our warm up that we did, so she couldn’t choose which one of us to advance in March Madness. So we have a calculator speed round where we place our calculator [on the board] and she puts up a problem. We have to run to the board and solve the problem as quick as possible and whoever solves it first wins,” said senior Jean Lee.

“It was stressful because [you wonder] ‘am i actually typing stuff in my calculator fast enough or faster than the other person?’ And then I didn’t know you were supposed to actually write it on the board,” said senior Ben Wall.

Although it isn’t the same as playing basketball, McCullough’s calculus students loved the opportunity to compete against their fellow students, while also increasing their calculus knowledge leading up to the AP test.