New York State Math Stars Compete in Albany

New York State Math Stars Compete in Albany

First In Math partners with New York State Education Department to sponsor statewide elementary math competition.

ALBANY, NY — The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and Suntex International Inc. joined forces for the second year in a row to bring a Statewide Elementary Mathematics Tournament to New York.

The June 1, 2024 Championship event at the University at Albany saw 150 elementary school students from across the state compete in a unique competition that tested their conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills. The first-place team at each grade level received a $5,000 award for their school. Second and third-place winners were awarded silver and bronze medals.

All New York State students in grades 1 through 5 enrolled in Suntex International Inc.’s innovative FIRST IN MATH program were invited to participate. To reach the finals, students first participated in an online “Virtual Regional Tournament” that narrowed the field to just 50 Teams — three students per grade from the same school — coming from 10 regions across the state.

Each Team of three students worked together on grade-appropriate challenges based on games from First In Math and Suntex's popular 24® Game series. Competition focused on building “number wheels” using four different numbered cards placed on a board. Grades 1-2 built wheels with a sum of 10, with points given for how many wheels were made and if duplicate numbers were used. Grades 3, 4 and 5 had to match numbers with a common factor to build a wheel, with the number of points corresponding to each wheel's common factor

"This type of competition is designed as a real test of the math skills students had been practicing all year — students were presented with things they had not seen until right before the event," explains Robert Sun, First In Math/24 Game inventor and the founder of Suntex. "This challenge asks students to build on the math they know, but apply it in new ways, demonstrating deep understanding and mastery of not only fact fluency, but procedural fluency, at their grade level."

Jason Harmon, NYSED Deputy Commissioner - P12 Operational Support, pumped up the crowd between rounds of play, "Again this year, in this room, are students from all over the state, and we couldn't be more excited to have you all here!" Harmon says he has seen the number of schools and the number of students who are participating continue to explode across the state. "We're really excited to see the program continue to grow as we look to include middle school grades in the future."

"Alongside new schools we also welcomed back many schools that were here last year," says Suntex Executive Vice President Nan Ronis, who adds that many hope this will become an annual event.

Glen Cove City School District looks forward to participating in future New York state tournaments. “We are so excited and proud of the kids,” said Deasy Elementary School teacher Meryl Gordon. “There’s never a competition at this level for children, so this is very exciting for second graders.”

Watch video highlights of the 2024 event

In 2020, NYSED selected the First In Math Online Program as a resource to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) readiness for K-5 students throughout the state and provided free access to all schools. Students use First in Math in class or at home as an additional resource to promote math and improve fact fluency, procedural fluency and computational-thinking skills. 

Part of NYSED's Expanded Mathematics Access Program (EMAP) for Grades K-5*, this initiative exists to provide students with access to online standards-based, math games and activities at no cost to NYS districts or students. The additional practice provides support to assist students in meeting grade-level fluency expectations and is accessible at school and at home to further help families to support their student’s math education. The use of this optional program is flexible. This flexibility can include enrichment/extension, fun summer learning, and/or to supplement/complement current work being done in the classroom. (* The program is being expanded to all New York students in grades  K through 8 for the 2024-25 school year.)

2024 New York State Elementary Mathematics Tournament Winners

1st grade:

  • 1st Place — 28Q144 Colonel Jeromus Remsen, New York City School District (Trayee Singh, Gabriel Alvarez, Joseph Stern) 
  • 2nd Place — Locust Elementary School, Gaarden City School District (Ethan Cohen, Ian Paneque, Declan Montegari)
  • 3rd Place — Setauket Elementary School, Three Village Central School District (Landon Kim, William Ward, Pavel Syritsyn) 

2nd grade:

  • 1st Place — Marion G. Vedder Elementary School, North Babylon Union Free School District (Kyle Ngo, Brandon Sanchez Toledo, Gabriel Alers) 
  • 2nd Place — P.S. 181 Brookfield Elementary School, New York City School District (Malakhi Dawkins, Danielle Moeen, Nkemdilim Ume-Ezeoke) 
  • 3rd Place — Deasy Elementary School, Glen Cove City School District (Heavenly Jackson, Oziel Roca, Arianna Dimitratos)

3rd grade:

  • 1st Place — Vanderbilt Elementary School, Half Hollow Hills Central School District (Alexander Belle, Benjamin Levy, Chase Ackerman) 
  • 2nd Place — New Explorations Intro to Science and Technology, New York City School District (Raima Das, Isabella Lu, Chaseton Lam) 
  • 3rd Place — Claremont Elementary School, Ossining Union Free School District (Tyler Cong, Yugaad Mhatre, Weston Sumba Lliguin)

4th grade:

  • 1st Place — Nassakeag Elementary School, Three Village Central School District (Caroline Zhang, Catherine Hu, Talinn Kim) 
  • 2nd Place — George A. Jackson Elementary School, Jericho Union Free School District (Rachel Xiao, Andrew Li, Eugene Wong) 
  • 3rd Place — Chancellor Livingston Elementary School, Rhinebeck Central School District (Alexander Kim, Asa Malkin, Somi Rothenhaus) 

5th grade:

  • 1st Place — Thornell Road Elementary School, Pittsford Central School District (Naveen Madhavan, Herene Shim, Kazimir Povelaites) 
  • 2nd Place — P.S. 174 William Sidney Mount, New York City School District (Ridwan Saif, Olivia Lo, Alen Grigoryan)
  • 3rd Place — P.S. 206 Joseph F. Lamb, New York City Schools (Haley Chan, Daniel Zheng, Yuying Chen)

Editor's note: Suntex International Inc. is the parent company of First In Math® and the 24® Game.

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