Adding up titles: Math and science team heads back to state

Published Wednesday, March 7, 2018
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Going to San Antonio

GOING TO SAN ANTONIO – The Paradise Junior High math and science team will send 19 members to state. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

The Paradise Junior High School math and science team continues to add trophies for the school and send members to the state meet.

Last weekend at the regional meet in Azle, the squad finished second in the running for the 3A sweepstakes trophy. Paradise won number sense and finished second in the three other events – math, calculator and science.

The school will take 19 qualifiers to the Texas Math and Science Coaches Association Middle School championships April 21 in San Antonio. Nine members of the team are returning to state.

“It’s harder,” said seventh grader Harrison Oberg about the state tests.

The school has long dedicated resources to helping the team.

“We’re blessed to have class time to work on it,” said sponsor Marcy Waggoner. “It makes a difference.”

Amber Fletcher is also a sponsor for the team.

Eighth grader Karen Escalera is headed to state in three events – math, calculator and number sense.

“[The tests] are hard. You have to take your time,” Escalera said.

Seventh grader Levi Waggoner, who is going to state in all four events, said it takes working on the events every day.

Number sense is a 10-minute, 80-question mental math test covering several subject areas. In calculator, contestants tackle calculations from simple addition and multiplication through solving geometry and algebra problems. The math test is designed to test knowledge in a variety of areas.

All the math tests are adjusted for middle school competition from the high level high school tests.

The science tests for middle school students cover earth and life science.

“It’s a lot of things combined – life science and knowing minerals,” said sixth grader Jimmy Loza.

Waggoner said her students must prepare for material that is beyond what they learn in middle school.

“You never know what is going to hit on the tests,” she said.

Team scores are based on the school’s top four finishers, and one of the scores must come from a sixth or seventh grader. The top three teams at a regional qualifier advance to state. Individuals can also qualify by hitting minimum scores at regionals or two other qualifiers or finishing in the top three at regionals.

The studying and preparation for the contests has paid off in the classroom, according to Escalara.

“Some of my classes, like algebram go with the tests,” she said.

Getting a chance to be a part of a team and compete with friends is another rewarding benefit.

“It feels great to be a part of it and do something with others,” said sixth grader Briar Whitaker.

The state qualifiers are:


Cole Goodman, science; Barrick Hughes, number sense; Austin Iglesias, number sense; Hunter Lawson, science; Jimmy Loza, mathematics, science; Tizo Luevanos, number sense, mathematics; Briar Whitaker, number sense, calculator, mathematics; Zech Sanders, science


Matthew Benson, number sense, mathematics; Dean Caddell, number sense, mathematics; Emma Dowling, calculator; Harrison Oberg, calculator; Nic Prindle, number sense, mathematics; Levi Waggoner, number sense, calculator, mathematics, science; Blain Warner, mathematics


Leslie Colbert, science; Karen Escalera, number sense, calculator, mathematics; Julia Karg, science; Cade Pearson, number sense, mathematics, science

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