By Nithin Parthasarathy

With over 200 students across 6th, 7th, and 8th grade participating in the event, the New Year’s Invitational Tournament was held in University High School’s multipurpose room on Sunday, January 20th.

“Primarily, we designed this event to prepare students for the math competition season, such as MATHCOUNTS and AMC” said Tournament Director Cynthia Qi.

Students and parents mingled and bought baked treats and books, waiting for the first round to start. Volunteers were busy, but happy to help, while setting up the tournament.

“I like volunteering because this brings people together, rather than practicing math at home. It’s really exciting to see that and help cultivate that experience” stated volunteer Eric Lee.

Once all the preparations were ready, students assembled into the room and sat down at their tables. After a short video featuring OCMC and an overview of the day, the sprint round started, which is a 40-minute test consisting of 30 problems.

After the sprint round, students went outside for a break and discussed the test and their answers with each other.

Students continued the tournament with the target round, a test with 8 problems with 24 minutes to complete it. This test was followed by a team round, which was a 20-minute test where each team solved 10 problems.

After another break, the countdown round started, where the top scorers from the other tests competed against each other in a fast-paced oral competition. Each student had 45 seconds to come up with an answer to a problem, and once they hit their bell, they had 3 seconds to answer it.

“My favorite thing about math competitions is the competitive spirit,” stated 8th grader Chris Song. “The atmosphere of competitiveness makes the tournament a lot more fun.”

The New Year’s Invitational concluded with the awards ceremony, and the participants left with their proud parents, tired but fulfilled.

“My child loves learning math, so I hope that his interest will be raised by participating in this competition and he will be motivated to pursue math further” said parent Mrs. Wang.

Volunteers, having finished their work, signed out and left, happy that the event was a success.

“Volunteers come back because they love the community at every event” said OCMC Co-President Amy Zhong.

A new year of math tournaments has just begun, and OCMC has been a big driving force in children participating in these tournaments.

The next tournament is the All Girls Math Tournament, which will be held at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in April. More information can be found on their website here.