Teens Ask: Will the Stimulus Package Work?
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High School Students Evaluate Legislation Using Math, Contend for Scholarship Prizes in This Year's Moody's Mega Math Challenge PHILADELPHIA--(Business Wire)-- The current economic crisis provides natural discussion topics for high school economics and social studies classes-but math class? Absolutely! This year's Moody's Mega Math Challenge problem, "$787 Billion: Will the Stimulus Act Stimulate the U.S. Economy?" asked high school students to identify and mathematically assess the parts of the stimulus package most likely to produce the greatest improvements in employment and the time frame over which this effect would take place. They also had to quantify their findings using mathematical modeling and quantitative analysis techniques, develop and defend their models, and justify their conclusions. Close to 400 teams submitted viable solution papers on Challenge weekend, March 7-8. "The quality of the papers was excellent," said Ben Fusaro, M3 Challenge consultant and Head Judge. "The judges thought the solutions were exceptional considering that the authors are high school juniors and seniors." After undergoing an extensive judging process during the past month, the following teams (listed alphabetically) were selected to contend for the top six awards ranging from $2,500 to $20,000: Bergen County Academies, Team #119, Hackensack, New Jersey Elk County Catholic High School, Team #290, Saint Marys, Pennsylvania High Technology High School, Team #58, Lincroft, New Jersey Staples High School, Team #143, Westport, Connecticut The Wheeler School, Team #128, Providence, Rhode Island West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, Team #57, Plainsboro, New Jersey These top teams will make formal presentations at the Moody's Corporation headquarters in Manhattan on May 5, when the judges learn for the first time the identities of the students and the schools they represent. Each team will have 15 minutes to present its solution paper and answer questions from the judges, who will then deliberate one last time and rank the teams in the final winning order. Following this deliberation, The Moody's Foundation, which funds the Challenge, will announce the winners and award the scholarship prizes. Judging for the Challenge is rigorous, meticulous, and impartial. There are no passing grades and numerical scores are not assigned. More than three-dozen Ph.D.-level applied mathematicians came together during March and early April to judge the competition, reaching a consensus on the 23 winning teams based on the creativity and quality of the papers' assumptions, math model, testing methodology, and summary. For more information on the Challenge, visit http://m3challenge.siam.org. Awards and Recognition: 2009 ASAE Associations Advance America (AAA) Award of Excellence; 2008 Excellence Award, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) About the Sponsor The Moody's Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting a variety of nonprofit education, health and human services, civic, and arts and culture programs. Established by Moody's Corporation in 2001, the Foundation's primary area of giving is secondary and higher education with a focus on mathematics, economics and finance. Further information is available at http://philanthropy.moodys.com. About the Organizer The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, is an international society of over 12,000 individual computational mathematicians and computer scientists, as well as other scientists and engineers. Further information is available at www.siam.org. Jessica Stephenson, 267-350-6383 Project Public Awareness Moody's Mega Math Challenge/SIAM email@example.com Copyright Business Wire 2009