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Memorial Junior High School student one of 576 chosen to compete in national math competition

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Lance Lampert beat out more than 50,000 applicants across 43 states to qualify for Chicago event

Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School student Lance Lampert ranked in the top 10 in the Atlantic Region for ninth-grade at the National MathCON Finals, out of 49,685 online round participants from across the country. MathCON is a prestigious academic competition hosted by Concept Schools in Chicago.  

Students nationwide from all types of schools, including home-schooled children, in the middle and upper grades competed across several mathematical disciplines: algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis, number systems and pre-calculus. They took an online assessment to qualify and competed in the finals at the University of Illinois at Chicago going head to head—brain to brain.

Lance is among the 576 finalists chosen. MathCon National finals will be held at the University of Illinois in Chicago on Saturday April 22.

Students from 43 states took the initial exam to qualify for MathCON. The day-long event brings together both elementary and high school students to compete for cash prizes and national prestige through various math questions and activities. 

MathCON was created in 2008 by Concept Schools as a Midwest competition with just 125 participants, and has since grown to a national event. MathCON’s goal is to engage students in STEM outside of the classroom, and encourage more students to enter the STEM fields, which are currently some of the fastest-growing industries in the United States.

“We’re incredibly proud when any of our students earn recognition for their accomplishments, and we’re so excited to have Lance Lampert represent Memorial Junior High School and rank in the top 576 with a national percentile of 99%,” Principal Bret Strauss said. “The STEM field is such an important part of the future, and we actively encourage our teachers and students to find fun ways to use STEM inside and outside of the classroom. This is a great honor not only for Lance, but also for Memorial Junior High School.”

Concept Schools, based in Des Plaines, Ill., is a nonprofit organization that manages high-quality college prep, public charter schools throughout the Midwest. In addition to providing rigorous, STEM-focused curriculum and leadership development support to the schools, Concept also hosts a number of academic competitions and conferences throughout the year, including the annual STEM Conference, the International Conference on Education, and Concept Talks, a series of seminars for educators.

“MathCON is our way of inspiring the future leaders in science, technology, math and engineering by engaging students at a young age, making STEM fun and demonstrating its real-world applications,” said Ayhan Caputlu of Concept Schools, which organizes the event. “The competition allows us to reach students from all over the nation and help them establish, improve and maintain skills that can lead to many possibilities throughout their educational careers and beyond.”

In addition to the approximately hour-long test, students at this year’s competition enjoyed a presentation from “mathmagician” Dr. Arthur T. Benjamin, enjoyed a pizza party with other participants, and played an array of STEM-related games. For a full agenda, visit 

Next year, MathCON hopes to draw students from all 50 states and also welcome international participation.  Countries who have inquired about entering students next year: Pakistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica and the UK.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019