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Saturday, May 18, 2024
Milpitas Unified School DistrictCurtner Elementary students receive national honors in Noetic Math Contest

Curtner Elementary students receive national honors in Noetic Math Contest

A group of 4th grade students from Curtner Elementary School has received national honors from the Spring 2022 Noetic Math Contest. Around the world, students from 450 schools competed, and students from Curtner received the 5th highest score.

“The students have had a remarkable amount of progress,” said Jim Zhang, one of the parents leading Curtner’s competitive math club. 

Back in 2020, Zhang teamed up with another parent, Meenal Honap. They decided to start a math club with their own kids and other students from their kids’ class who were interested.

“The actual purpose was to create an opportunity to maintain social bonds and provide some math enrichment in the darkest hours of the pandemic,” Honap explained.

The Curtner Math Club meets over Zoom once a week; in the meetings, the students all work together to solve problems. And they organize their own internal competitions, allowing the kids to do math problems in a game show format. There’s also a scrimmage system by which the students are broken up into teams that compete against one another. Lectures are also held on academic topics that might not necessarily be covered in school, but are useful for the club’s competitions.     

‘’I enjoy Math Club because it is engaging and I am always learning new things,” said student member Joshua Zhang. 

Although the club is almost entirely parent and student run, they do have faculty sponsorship. Last year, MUSD teacher Samantha Brasil was their sponsor; this year, it’s teacher Naomi Patner.

The club even has elected student officers who sometimes help to run the meetings. And as things move forward, Zhang and Honap plan to put more leadership responsibilities into the students’ hands. 

‘’Math club is something I look forward to each week. I’ve learned new math concepts in a fun way,’’ said student member Aashna Kulkarni.  

Go here for the official list of Noetic Math Contest winners. 



Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro is the winner of a 2022 Golden Quill Award for her Education journalism. She works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works mostly with nonprofit organizations and educational entities to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also the author of “Fierce Woman: Wake up your Badass Self” and “Magic Within: Womb-Centered Wisdom to Realize the Power of Your Sacred Feminine Self.” Her YouTube channel features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief.


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