2022 Joe Holbrook Memorial Math Competition


Soo Young Yoon, Writer

On October 16th, 2022, BCA hosted the Joe Holbrook Memorial Math Competition and invited all Bergen County students from 4th to 8th grade. These students all participated in a series of 40 math questions. The event lasted for several hours, and by the end, the top ten students from each grade were given rewards. The Academy Chronicle was interested to learn more about the BCA students’ involvement in running the JHMMC. 

As it turns out, the event was planned months before October.

Free 2022 JHMMC T-shirts were given out to all the volunteers

In June, the Math Team captains sent out emails to the math students to contribute problems for the contest. Many of these problems were to be used for the actual contest, and in return, the students were rewarded with fifteen minutes of volunteer time for each question they submitted. Without the students submitting these problems, creating 40 questions for each grade would have been extremely difficult.


Then, about a month before the event, the school gathered around a hundred BCA volunteers to be at the school from 8AM to 4PM. These students were given different roles for the day, such as standing outside to help out the parents, proctoring the contests, and grading them. And to thank the volunteers for spending more than eight hours at school on a Saturday, they were each given a free 2022 JHMMC t-shirt! 


Po Shen Loh comes on the stage to give a talk to the students and the parents

Apart from the contest, there were so many exciting events happening around the competition. As a reward for participating, the students each received free pens and 2 by 2 Rubik’s cubes. After receiving these awards, the students were escorted to the school auditorium, where they were greeted by a well known genius, Po Shen Loh. He is the national coach of the United States’ International Math Olympiad team who led the team to first place in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019 — their first victories since 1994. The students were surely excited to hear his talk on finding their hidden talents in math. Throughout the talk, he stressed the importance in never quitting and to keep trying to get better at problem solving. Although the talk was only about an hour long, Po Shen Loh gave out many helpful tips regarding math and also important life lessons.


4th graders receive their awards after the contest is over



By the end of the talk, the top ten winners of each grade were announced, and the students had a chance to celebrate their great accomplishments with their family. And even though not everyone won the awards, this event was a great motivation for them to keep studying and continue to grow in mathematics.

After the event, the mathematics teacher and also the organizer, Mr. Pinyan, posted on Discord: “Thank you, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone who volunteered today.” 

He also emphasized how important the volunteers were for the event to run smoothly. With many BCA students contributing to the competition months before, the 2022 JHMMC was surely a fun event that encouraged more students to participate again next year!