Editor’s note: STEM News is a new feature provided through a collaborative effort with the NC STEM Community Collaborative, MCNC, and the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Center (SMT Center). To submit story ideas, please email LTW Editor Rick Smith rsmith@wral.com or Noah Garrett noah@thinkngc.com.


ATHENS, Ga. – North Carolina’s sharpest high school mathematicians recently competed in the 32nd Annual (ARML) meet in Athens, Ga. It included 106 teams from more than 40 states as well as several international teams in the only on-site math competition in the nation.

The North Carolina "A1" team took first place at their site and placed fourth in the nation.

Thomas Lu, of Early College at Guilford in Greensboro, and Bryce Taylor, of N.C. School of Science and Math (Mt. Tabor High School of Forsyth County), were the high-individual scorers for the N.C. team – answering eight-of-the-10 individual questions correctly with Lu placing third and Taylor finishing eighth among all U.S. students.

North Carolina’s team won the ARML meet in 2006 and was the only team in the nation to place in ARML’s top five for each of the 2006, 2007, and 2008 meets. The two 2010 teams of 15 students each were chosen on the basis of their scores on the State High School Mathematics Contest and several national math exams.

Coaching this year’s team were Archie Benton, North Buncombe High School in Weaverville; John Noland, of Cary Academy; Ken Thwing, of Freedom High School in Morganton; Philip Rash, of N.C. School of Science and Mathematics in Durham; Jeff Lucia, of Providence Day School in Charlotte; and Kathy Hill, of Athens Drive High School in Raleigh.

"These coaches, under the leadership of Archie Benton, have become an outstanding team at training and identifying the best math students in North Carolina," said John Goebel, chair of the State Mathematics Competition.

See the graphics on the left sidebar for team rosters of both North Carolina’s “A1” and “A2” teams.

The “A2” team consists of younger, less-experienced students and who would normally compete in the "B" Division nationally; however, since North Carolina’s "B" Team has done so well in recent years, it was required to compete in the "A" Division this year.

"We are very proud of these students, and their coaches, for the extraordinary job they have done representing our state on a national level," said Sam Houston, CEO of the N.C. Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education .

The ARML meets, which originated in New England, has grown to include four sites across the nation: Penn State University, the University of Iowa, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and the University of Georgia.

The format consists of four rounds and is conducted simultaneously at all four sites. Three of the rounds are team rounds, including a Power Question, Team Questions, and Relays. There is one Individual Round. Awards are given at each site and for overall national winners.

N.C. teams are sponsored by with help from .

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