COSAM News Articles 2022 November Local middle school teams compete in annual Auburn Mathematical Puzzle Challenge

Local middle school teams compete in annual Auburn Mathematical Puzzle Challenge

Published: 11/08/2022

By: Leslie Leak , Kristen Jackson

On November 5, 13 teams of 7th and 8th grade students worked collaboratively to solve mathematical puzzles at the 2022 Auburn Mathematical Puzzle Challenge, or AMP’D.

Held on Auburn’s campus and hosted by the College of Sciences and Mathematics’ STEM Outreach Office and the Department of Mathematics, student teams solved puzzles using practical applications of mathematics while developing leadership, teamwork and organizational skills.

This year, student teams comprised of six to eight students participated from Opelika Middle School, Russell County Middle School, East Coweta Middle School, Lee Middle School, Evans Middle School, Samford Middle School, Montgomery Catholic Preparatory Middle School, Madras Middle School and East Samford School.

Blaire Thrasher, a teacher from East Coweta Middle School said, “I loved getting to see my students outside the classroom. It was great to see what they learn in science and math in school being used in real-life applications.”

Graduate students from the Department of Mathematics—a team led by Mike Guyer with Padmini Nukala, Ariel Cook and Elizabeth Sloss—designed this year’s puzzles based on a circus theme. Other mathematics and statistics graduate students volunteered on the day to help the event run smoothly.

The day began with a Black Market Barter challenge in which students bartered various objects to obtain a key and unlock their homeroom and morning puzzles. This year’s puzzles were entitled Scheduling Troubles, Crazy Clown Confusion, Bullseye Sudoku, Wheezewhort, Dancing Elephants and Magic Mindreader.

Valentina Tellitud-Rosales, an 8th grade student from Opelika Middle School, stated, “I really enjoyed the day. The puzzles were challenging and made me think outside the box. I also really enjoyed the different types of problems and working with other kids. I even met and became friends with some kids I didn’t know before.”

This type of learning format allowed middle school students to engage with math in a fun, interactive way that is different from learning in a traditional classroom.

Mathematics and Statistics Associate Professor Jessica McDonald has been faculty coordinator for AMP’D since 2014. She remarked, “The middle school AMP’D program has now been happening annually for about a decade, although we missed the last two years due to Covid. We were happy to get to run the event this year.”



Latest Headlines
Select a year below.

Stay Connected