Mad Mathematics Mayhem

Buckle up and bring your calculators, it's going to be an algebraic adventure

When most people think of the month of March, numerous events come to mind, such as St. Patty’s Day, The Ides, Pi Day, the birthday of Theodore Seuss Geisel, and of course, March Madness. However, one aspect of March that is commonly overlooked by the average citizen is the annual March Mathness tournament at Roncalli High School.

The Roncalli March Mathness tournament was started and is still currently run by the one and only Mr. Andy Niewedde.

“I have always watched the March Madness tournament and I thought it might be fun to try that in class at a time in the year where people are just going through the motions,” Niewedde said.

The tournament begins when students enter into a bracket. The winner of each matchup is decided by whoever gets the better score on a test or quiz. In the case of a tie breaker, the players go into overtime, which takes the form of a quick five question quiz.

The exclusive tournament is only available for those who have Niewedde as a teacher for any of his classes, including algebra 2 and statistics. However, for those who are lucky enough to partake in the tournament, the competition really spices up math class.

“To actually have a reason to do well on a test makes math exciting,” sophomore Katrina Gangstad said.

This effect is the precise reaction Niewedde was intending to create when he started the March Mathness tournament.

“It creates a little more energy, maybe improves their performance a little bit,” Niewedde said.

Although March Mathness is a competitive tournament, there are some tips and tricks for students to help them succeed and become true math wizards.

“Don’t freak out about it too much because it’s honestly not that big of a deal,” senior Sam George said.

Besides methods of preparation to ensure the best possible performance on a test or a quiz, there are also several strategies that students can partake in to gain the high ground in a test, rendering their opponent’s game essentially over.

“Get in their head. Play mind games,” George said. “I’m facing the Valedictorian (senior Will Hawkins), and I’ve been telling him, ‘You stink’ and ‘I’m going to beat you’.”

The March Mathness tournament will conclude in a legendary battle between worthy opponents, resulting in the winner receiving a fabulous and renowned trophy that celebrates their computative competence and arithmetical excellence.

MY PRECIOUS: Pictured above is a glorious and priceless March Mathness trophy from Niewedde’s 2019 Algebra 2 Period 1 class. The prized March Mathness trophy is one of the most coveted items in the world, falling just below the value of the One Ring and just above the splendor of a Manhattan parking spot.