Two Plateau Valley math students make National Honor Roll

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COLLBRAN, Colo. (KKCO) - Getting good grades in school is one thing, but making the top 10 percent in the Noetic Learning Math Contest is a whole different story.

"This is the first time Colorado's been on the winning board, and we made history," said 1A Plateau Valley fifth-grader Austyn Vig.

"There were a lot of pressures, like 'Oh my gosh, we're going to do the math competition,'" said Tucker Wiltse, fellow competitor. "That was about the only thought I had."

These two worked up some nerves, but they also had been practicing for a few weeks prior to the November competition.

"I knew they would do well," said teacher and team leader Leslie Nichols, "but I also knew we had our work cut out for us. Even with timing and everything, they nailed it, so it makes me really proud, and it reminds me of the importance of pushing kids."

Just under 12,000 students grades two through six competed in the contest. Each student was given 45 minutes to solve 20 math problems including computation, algebra, probability, and statistics.

"We have been practicing a bunch," said Tucker. "It's really hard. I got a lot of questions wrong, but I corrected them."

So it certainly pays to double check that work, but as that clock is ticking, it can be nerve-wrecking.

"The pressure was on," said Austyn. "You had to get it done in 45 minutes, or you don't get that good of a percentile."

Austyn scored a 90, while his teammate Tucker scored an 85. The boys were just two of eight students that made the National Honor Roll in Colorado, but they still had the highest scores.

"Sometimes when you're in a small school district, or you're a small school, you don't always get that opportunity to share a lot of the successes that our students have," said Nichols.

The contest takes place twice per year and is open to all schools throughout the country. To find out how your school can participate, visit the link below.

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