North County students win math video competition

Bradley and Madelynn Carpiuc (right side), Cole Seelman and Zoe Kim (left side).
Bradley and Madelynn Carpiuc (right side), Cole Seelman and Zoe Kim.

Four North County students who attend Elite Academic Academy each received a $1,000 college scholarship for winning the 2021 Math Video Challenge, part of a program by the nonprofit MATHCOUNTS.

The challenge, open to students nationwide in grades 6 to 8, was to make an original video demonstrating math in a real-world setting. All participating students submitted their videos in March after months of writing, filming, animating and editing videos, according to a MATHCOUNTS news release. Then a panel of judges picked the winners.

The Elite Academic Academy team members, who called themselves “∫ du Σ Math” (pronounced Do Some Math), made a video called “The Sanitizer Stealers.”

“We were not expecting to get this far, but we did,” said Cole Seelman, a sixth grader.

The students did a five-minute sketch about a group of thieves who steal hand sanitizer, priced at almost $20 per bottle due to the demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, from a store at regular intervals. The store owner and his friends then use math to calculate how much was stolen and use the information to help catch the culprits.

“We started talking about the concept of the video and I got really interested in it,” said Zoe Kim, an eighth grader.

Eighth grader Bradley Carpiuc added, “We didn’t have any expectations when we came in, we didn’t know how hard it was going to be.”

On the scholarships, Bradley’s sister Madelynn, a sixth grader, said “We weren’t really expecting that, we were just trying to do it for fun.”

“We congratulate the Mathletes from ∫ du Σ Math for their outstanding work,” Kristen Chandler, executive director of the MATHCOUNTS Foundation, said in a statement. “This team, like the hundreds of students who participated in the Math Video Challenge this year, has demonstrated how math and creativity can go hand in hand.”

Louie Lopez, STEM director at the U.S. Department of Defense, which sponsored the program, added in a statement that “We look forward to seeing all that you accomplish in future years.”

The team presented its video on May 9, during a virtual 2021 Math Video Challenge Finals.

“We all had a good time and we appreciated the experience and had a lot of fun along the way, despite it being held online,” said Kim Carpiuc, who served as the team’s advisor.