Remember when you were a freshman wandering the campus for the first time? Remember how big the seniors looked? How wide the hallways were?
Now imagine first experiencing this not as a freshman but as an eighth grader.
Carmel Middle School eighth graders Dilan Patel, Annabelle Chen and Sebastian Hendricks come to CHS every morning to attend math teacher Kurt Grahl’s Integrated II class, and in doing so they get an early glimpse of what high school life is like.
Since the Common Core standards came into effect, students can no longer skip Math 6 and go straight into Pre-Algebra in sixth grade. In order for students to get ahead, they must take a course over the summer on their own time.
While usually there have been around 12 or 15 students in the advanced track, due to this change in curriculum that number has been reduced this year to three, and there is no longer an Integrated 2 class offered at the middle school.
Patel, Chen and Hendricks, the three math superstars, not only excel academically, but are fitting in socially on campus as well.
“It’s a funny dynamic because down there they’re the big ones on campus, the ones who are comfortable and familiar,” Grahl says. “They come up here, and they’re even farther behind than the freshman.”
Even in a class including sophomores and juniors, they no longer see being the youngest in the class as an issue.
“It’s tough getting used to because they’re older than you, but I’ve done it for two years so I’m used to it,” Patel explains.
Despite the advanced curriculum and hassle of commuting between two different schools, the students are still happy to do it.
“I enjoy math because it always has a formula that works,” Hendricks says. “It also gives me a great feeling of accomplishment when I solve an especially hard question.”
Additionally, Hendricks notes that he prefers being in advanced math because of the added opportunity it gives him to pursue a career in the field of mathematics, something he truly enjoys.
These three CMS math whizzes are using their passion to help lead the forefront of advanced mathematics in the Common Core era.