Participants of the Staples Student Spectacular Challenge Reflect On Their Experience

Pictured+above+are+the+second+place+winners+of+the+Staples+Student+Spectacular+Challenge.++%7C+Photo+by+Petey+Menz+%2711

Pictured above are the second place winners of the Staples Student Spectacular Challenge. | Photo by Petey Menz '11

JJ Clarke ’12
A&E Editor

Pictured above are the second place winners of the Staples Student Spectacular Challenge. | Photo by Petey Menz '11

Apparently, the idea of urinating in the shower once a day to conserve water won over the tough judges at the Staples Student Spectacular Challenge.

Each year, the Staples Student Spectacular Challenge brings out the best in problem solving. Each of the six teams going into the final had their own style and solutions for the task at hand. During the preliminary round, some teams used Snuggies due to the very low temperature of their room, some took breaks to run up and down the halls to keep them awake. Some of these antics worked, others didn’t help as much, however, all were unique.

The Staples Challenge originated from a larger program called Moody’s Mega Math Challenge. Some of the administrators along with teachers from the Math Department wanted to create an in-house version of the event, and so the Staples Student Spectacular Challenge began.

Most of the teams agreed that the hardest part of the preliminary round of the contest was staying focused on the task at hand. It took the teams a lot of time to get the ball rolling as they had to compose a thorough essay on the problem.

Each team had their own set of expectations whether they were high or low. Jordan Ratner ’10 said bluntly, “we have none,” while others were a bit more goal enthused. Lena Ziskin ’10 said that her goal was “to be impressed by [her] peers.”

Ziskin’s team ended up winning the competition, receiving a total of five thousand dollars in scholarship money. “Our solution is easy to understand and accessible to the average Westporter, and will be easy to implement,” said Ziskin.

Ratner’s team did not place, but still believes the team’s solution could help Westport “100 percent.”

Along with the teams full of juniors and seniors, there was one team that made it to the final round that was solely comprised of sophomores. Although they were fairly nervous before their presentation they still had a bit of confidence. “We already convinced the librarian to join the Sterling Energy Program, which gives us some hope,” said David Haswell ’12 of the third place team.

Near the end of the night, all of the teams wanted to get out of the auditorium to celebrate their hard work.

“We don’t want to miss ‘Lost,’” said Haswell with a chuckle.