CAMP ZAMA, Japan (April 22, 2016) - Zama American High School hosted the annual Kanto Plain Math Field Day April 20 at Camp Zama's Community Club.

Approximately 335 students from ZAHS and 11 other schools in the Kanto Plain area of Japan competed to show off their knowledge of math.

The other schools included Yokohama International School, St Maur International School, International School of Sacred heart, K. International School Tokyo, American School in Japan, Aoba Japan International School, Seisen International School, Christian Academy in Japan, St Mary's International School, Nishimachi International School, and the British School in Tokyo.

Kanto Plain Math Field Day is sponsored by the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary School Principals and has been held since at least 1975, according Frank Striegl, retired math teacher from St. Mary's International School.

KPASSP's website said Math Field Day is an opportunity for talented students to meet, compete and collaborate, to hone math skills and build enthusiasm for learning math. Each school is allowed a maximum of 30 total students.

The students participated in an individual timed test based on grade level in the morning. In the afternoon, students from different schools and grade levels worked in groups in a math mania challenge and a technology challenge.

"It was really fun!" said Alyssa Bowles, senior at ZAHS.

"This is my second year attending math field day, and I've been learning a lot from the other schools, especially during the challenge where we were running around.

"A lot of the things that we did I didn't really know about; but they (other students in the group) were able to like solve it really quickly and they even explained it to us, so it was really interesting...and I learned a lot of short cuts to do different math problems too," she said.

One of the questions for 7th and 8th graders was:
"Gary drove a total of 420 miles in 6 hours. How many hours did he drive above the state limit of 70 mph if he accelerated each hour, covering an extra 2 miles compared to the previous hour?"
Answer: 3 hours

Another question, for 11th and 12th graders, was:
"Each of ten students has a ticket to one of ten chairs in a row at a theater. How many ways are there to seat the students so that each student sits either in the chair specified on his/her ticket or in one right next to it? Each chair is to be occupied by exactly one student."
Answer: 89.

Events like this are important because Math Field Day is an opportunity for students to showcase a variety of skills in events other than athletics, said DeAngelo Galang, visual arts teacher at ZAHS.

Galang also said Math Field Day helps cultivate interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)-related fields, which is one of the Department of Defense Education Activity's initiatives.

"Our primary goal is that people who like math get to meet other people who like math," said David Marshall, math and science teacher at Christian Academy in Japan.

"I think it's just fun learning to solve a problem together," he said.

Marek Karpisek, 8th-grader at British School, said the event is nice because of the competition with other schools.

"I think it is a good chance to get to have a competition with other people than just your classmates," said Karpisek.