With pencils sharpened and scrap paper in hand, the students were ready for Houghton High School's 3rd Annual Math Jam. The top high school and middle school minds from around the Copper Country and the Western U.P. put their math skills to the test.
"What we try to do here is take kids who already have the interest and already willing to put in some of the hard work and let them compete with their brains and let them go head-to-head," said Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech, John Gershenson.
John also says his students put in a lot of time after school to improve their math skills.
The students taking part in the Math Jam first had to take an individual test, then it was time for a group test, and finally it was time for the relay race where everyone in the group had to get the correct answer in the allotted amount of time.
Once the fourth person from the team feels they have the right answer, they show it to the judges sitting at the front of the room, and if the answer is wrong, they have to go back and try again.
"I enjoy math because you can find the answer. There's a definite answer," said seventh grader Mickayla Brandly.
This competition gives students the opportunity to take what they've learned inside the classroom and apply it in the competitive event.
Houghton won first place overall for both the high school and middle school, and for Noah Gershenson, all of his hard work finally paid off.
"I feel really great. Last year I got second place to my brother, and that was really amazing because my brother and I, we really both like math a lot, said Gershenson.
These hard working students are making math look easy, and when spring rolls around, they'll be ready for the National Competition to begin.