Trig Star participants see success

ABOVE: Thirty-seven students from Fairmont High School pictured at the 2024 Trig Star Competition . Front row, from left: Bella Schroeder, Macy Hanson, Kat Ogden, Carys Gudahl, Abigail Sundeen, Sam Grogin, Kennedy Becker, Meredith Nemmers, Hailee Greely, Cailwyn Jobe, Simone Castro, Macy Smith. Second row, from left: Adelyn Hoye, Madysen Tonne, Isaac Stone, Caleb Chambers, Elijah Johnson, Ivan Martin, Joshua Walders, Illyana Kelley, Alexandra Ensrud, Claire Brockman, Samantha Thatcher, Cadence Montgomery, Audrina Suckow, Bryanna Petschke. Third row, from left: Tyler Kurt, Eric Determan, Brett Williams, Oliver Tordsen, Harmon Schrunk, Parker Mathiason, Ethan Madsen, Noah Wolner, Ethan Pockrus, Micah Vaughn, Isaac Thomas.

FAIRMONT – The Fairmont High School (FHS) Trig Star team participated in the 22nd Annual Minnesota of Society of Professional Surveyors (MSPS) Chapter One Trig Star program on last month at the South Central College – Mankato Campus. Trig Star is a yearly event that acknowledges students around the state that excel in their trigonometry course. MSPS challenged 130 students from five different schools around the region.

Trig Star promotes the land surveying field to high school students and introduces them to real-life mathematics applications in future careers.

Jerry Brooks is the trigonometry teacher at FHS. He noted that Fairmont has been participating in Trig Star for around 20 years and the school has seen growth in the participants attending throughout said years.

“We took a practice test during the school day. [Students] had to give a 10-out-of-10 effort,” said Brooks.

Student participants are provided an exam, in which questions range in difficulty. Both time and the answers completed correctly determine the final points an individual student receives. Students are given one hour to complete their test within their time limit.

Fairmont brought 37 participants to the Trig Star tournament. MSPS sponsored the traveling award. The traveling award determines the scores of the top 10 participants from each school. The Fairmont team received the second place title, earning a total of 756 points, 10 points behind Mankato West.

Fairmont won the STAR trophy, an award (sponsored by Chapter One) that recognizes the school with the top overall average placement. Fairmont won said award with a scoring result of 53 percent.

Sam Grogin was awarded first place, earning himself a 92 percent score upon completing his assessment in 41 minutes and 8 seconds. As a reward, Grogin received $150 for his efforts.

“I’m in Math League, so I had a lot of experience [with trigonometry],” Grogin remarked on his experience. Grogin plans to advance his studies, and become an engineer.

Kennedy Becker received second place. She received an 84 percent score and completed her assessment with an impressive time of 24 minutes and 40 seconds. She was awarded with a $100 prize.

“I got second place last year, so I wanted to do it again…and I wanted the money,” Becker said with a laugh.

Both Grogin and Becker, along with their cash prizes, received engraved plaques. This will be acknowledged at the Fairmont High School awards event.

“I remember pointing to Brooks,” said Grogin, recalling the moment he and Becker were announced winners.

With the first and second place titles, Grogin and Becker qualify to compete amongst other scores in the Minnesota state tournament. Results will be determined in May. The champion of the state tournament will have the honor of competing at the nationals tournament in Washington D.C. in July.

Both Becker and Grogin encourage students with trigonometry and precalculus classes to ‘give the TrigStar competition a shot, and go for it.’


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