Math and science challenge at Fredonia features Harry Potter theme

Submitted Photo SUNY Fredonia recently hosted its 17th annual Math and Science Challenge.

Harry Potter, the wildly popular fantasy novel series by J.K. Rowling, was in the spotlight at the 17th annual Math and Science Challenge at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

The event was offered free to students enrolled in participating school districts.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences, which hosted the program, applied a math twist to this year’s theme and came up with Harry “Pi”-tter, or “Harry ptter.”

Working in teams, more than 350 of the area’s most talented middle- and high-school students were challenged to creatively apply numerous aspects of mathematics and science in seven events or activities that reflect the Harry Potter storyline.

The challenge opens each year with the game of “Smadness,” which strengthens the understanding of mathematical operations while sharpening problem solving skills and fostering teamwork. From there, teams engaged in events with the following titles: “Aragog the Acromantula,” “Catch the Golden Snitch,” “A Safe Deposit at Gringotts,” “Decoding as a Defense against the Dark Arts” and “Quidditch for Real.”

A math and science tri-wizard tournament, featuring “Broom Flyin’ and Racin’,” “Rubeus Hagrid’s Fashion Show,” “Charms and Spells” and “Transfiguration,” concluded the morning activities.

The goal of the challenge is to develop in students a greater appreciation for the applicability and power of mathematics, science and engineering. While t-shirts and numerous awards were given out, the hope is that the experience will inspire students to pursue a career that incorporates mathematics, science and engineering.