WESTON (CBS4) — Some South Florida 5th graders added a new award to the trophy case, Monday, for being the best in the country at math.
Out of six thousand schools around the United States, Manatee Bay Elementary in Weston placed first in a program called First in Math that credits students and schools for excellence in math.
The school marked the occasion with an awards ceremony and presentation in the school’s cafeteria Monday morning.
Each one of the students put in more than 400 hours in the online competition.
“I am really happy about it, I feel really proud of myself,” said 5th grader Zoe Meszaro. “I stay up hours on the weekends just doing First in Math, First in Math, First in Math.”
First in Math is a self paced, motivating practice program that helps students master fundamental math skills.
The game style program is a supplement to the school’s curriculum.
First in Math incorporates a friendly competition against classmates as well as other schools in the district.
“It starts out very simple with basic skill sets for these kids like multiplication facts but then it quickly escalates where their solving addition and fractions, subtraction and fractions, decimals, integers and measurement,” said a teacher Robin McClain. “It just keeps going up, up, up, up, up.”
Robin McClain is a 5th grade teacher and the school coordinator for the program at Manatee Bay Elementary.
The program’s creator, Robert Sun, visited the school from Pennsylvania to congratulate the kids personally. “It makes me feel very gratified,” said Sun.
“Launching any new product program is a lot of work, it’s a lot of difficulties but seeing the impact it makes on in these kids – is a wonderful life ahead of them,” said Sun. “I’m sure they’re going to make a tremendous, positive impact on the world and they developed the one skill that’s absolutely personal and that’s persistence.”
Governor Rick Scott and school district members were also among the attendants at Monday’s ceremony.