The Purple Comet Math Meet is a free, on-line, international, team mathematics competition designed for middle and high school students conducted annually since 2003.
Teams of up to six students compete by submitting solutions to a list of mathematics problems, ranging in difficulty from easy to extremely challenging. The middle school contest consists of 20 problems to be completed in 60 minutes.
More than 800 teams, representing 32 different countries, registered for the event. Math teacher Ellen Kufel put together a test group of 16 interested students on three teams this year to compete. Participants included James McKinney, Ethan Gaertner, Alex Dondis, Brett Peacock, Zak Goldstein,Spencer Neill, Prahlad Pant, Joey Spiro, Matthew McCall,Nathan Lewis, Jason Davis, Annika Kapoor, Sarah Smith,Keegan Clendenin, Emerson Danamraj, and Asher Chamoy. The group met a few times to practice before the event.
"It was exciting to see such enthusiasm for math and to see new friendships and cooperation among the teams," Kufel said. "Next year, I want to open this up to all students in grades 5-8 who want to participate. I can see this growing into a math club next year as well."
Students were excited about the event as well, although they admitted it was challenging. "I thought I was smart when I walked in the door," said Asher Chamoy. "These questions are hard!" The most common response: "My brain hurts...but in a good way!"