FLETCHERS LAKE: Need a math question answered, just ask Maria Mihai she will likely know the answer without hesitation.
Mihai, a Grade 4 student at Holland Road Elementary School in Fletchers Lake, has math and all of it’s aptitudes on her brain 24/7. That’s helping her excel in a subject most would find troublesome. Not Mihai, she’s found herself on the winners or honor roll for several national competitions.
She took home first place in the Caribou math test, topping children from Ontario and a school in Beijing, China; Beestar National Spring math competition; and an honour roll mention at the Kangaroo Mtah competition, not to mention heading up the math club at the school.
“The inspiration for me to do this is the rewards and seeing my family happy,” said the tiny Mihai inside a classroom at the school on May 23. “What excites me is seeing the different type of math, the different contests that will challenge me.
Mihai does a lot of the math contests in the mornings in the office shortly after arriving at school each day.
The kids at Holland Road get excited when they see Mihai excited about her results, said Principal Roberta Jones
“I guess they are,” said a smiling Mihai.
She knows her family gets excited about her math results.
Why does she think everyone gets excited for her?
“I think it might be because I go to all these contests when I’m in Grade 4, and some of them are above Grade 4,” she said.
Mihai said she’s not sure where she can use the math she’s learning.
“It’s always useful to just have it just in case,” said Mihai. “If you need to know how much water you need to buy in case the electricity went out for a long period.”
She has started a math club at the school.
“I think it’s a good thing as it gives others my age and younger a chance to learn things like this,” she said. “It makes them feel good about themselves, which I like hearing.”
Mihai doesn’t have far to look for her love for math—her grandmother was university math teacher in Romania; her mom likes math; her dad works with computers so he needs to know math.
“Math is everywhere,” said Mihai. “Sometimes me an my grandmother will Skype and she will geometry with me for like an hour.”