The Auburn Mathematical Puzzle Challenge (AMP’d) is an annual competition for teams of seven high school students to solve puzzles involving mathematics, logic, shapes and patterns, word play, cryptograms, and creative thinking. AMP’d is sponsored by the Auburn University College of Science and Mathematics. Original puzzles are designed by the nationally recognized puzzle designer, Eric Harshbarger, who lives in Auburn and who also designed puzzles for the MCPS Freshmen Puzzle Day held last month.
The AMP’d theme this year was “Card and Key.” Each solved puzzle allowed students to unlock a box containing cards. The cards when collected posed a bonus puzzle for finding a joker from the deck hidden somewhere in the building.
MCPS took a Junior Varsity team (9th and 10th graders) and a Varsity team (11th and 12th graders). The JV team was proctored by MCPS faculty members Mr. Harold Simpson with help from Mr. Rick Aaron. The team finished in 1st place by just 4 points over the 2nd place JV team. JV Team members are: Erica Blackburn, Jacob Holston, Arthur Murray, Scott “Lucky Lay Down” Nation, Charles O’Donnell, Emily Talbot and Clare Wilson (pictured below).
The MCPS Varsity did well, solving 12 of the 13 puzzles, but ran out of time as they were just solving the bonus puzzle. Varsity team members are: Ivy Bach, Lita Backburn, Chris DeJesus, Lisa Hong, Henry Petters, Katie Slear and Lauren Smith (pictured below).
Dr. Joe Profio said of the event “AMP’d is the most fun event we go to each year. Students ask about AMP’d beginning in August even though the event is in the spring. Every adult who has chaperoned an AMP’d team has also enjoyed watching the students as they think through the puzzles. It is a wonderful overall experience.”
Congratulations to the Montgomery Catholic AMP’d teams a a great year!