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Front: Keenan Doherty and Kailey O'Neill Center : left to right: Francis Hearst, Nicholas Milliken, Colin Khater, Peter Evangelista, Anuvind Vijay, and Alex Martel Rear left to right: Evan Saindon and Jason Martel

NORTH ANDOVER — A group of fourth graders at The Annie L. Sargent Elementary School voluntarily participated in a nationwide, competitive math league.

The students placed in the top 10 percent of 391 schools participating overall. Also, one month they placed as the leading school with their cumulative high scoring.

The Continental Math League (www.continentalmathleague.com) uses some of the most challenging questions presented at two grade levels above the current curriculum in word problem formats.

The program encourages critical thinking and aims to maximize the development of problem-solving techniques.

Parent adviser Lynne Leary-Khater met with students after school for 30-minute "meets" to practice mathematical equations using visual and hands-on materials. Each student learned to individually approach the problem using whatever means they had confidence with, often times with no exposure to the material in the test. Eager to learn, they had fun while applying mathematics on a daily basis in the world using averages, percentage of sales, and solving for the unknown introducing basic algebra.

Six monthly tests were held, and high scores submitted online to the website Each month, schools throughout every region in the United States published their results learning where they placed in the nation.

All students were presented with certificates, and medals went to the top scorers, at the end of the academic testing.

The following students participated: Keenan Doherty, Peter Evangelista, Francis Hearst, Colin Khater, Alex Martel, Jason Martel, Nicholas Milliken, Kailey O'Neill, Evan Saindon and Anuvind Vijayaraghavan.

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