Diamond Ranch Academy student nails trigonometry exam with state’s top score

Diamond Ranch Academy student Logan Tischler, 15, poses with his award certificate for getting the top score statewide on the Trig-Star exam, Hurricane, Utah, May 20, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

HURRICANE — A 15-year-old math whiz recently took first place among Utah high school students in the annual Trig-Star trigonometry competition.

Logan Tischler, who is originally from the Chicago area but has been attending Hurricane’s Diamond Ranch Academy for the past couple years, not only aced the rigorous nationwide test, he did so in just over half the allotted time.

“Logan was the only person within the state to actually score 100% on the test,” said Stephen Howard, who is Tischler’s math teacher at Diamond Ranch.

Howard explained that students are given up to one hour to complete the exam.

“However, if you finish it as quickly as you can and get them all right, it gives you a better chance of winning,” Howard said, adding that Tischler completed his test in 33 minutes and 17 seconds.

Diamond Ranch Academy math teacher Stephen Howard and student Logan Tischler receive award certificates from Hurricane city engineer Arthur LeBaron after Tischler achieved the top score statewide on the Trig-Star exam, Hurricane, Utah, May 20, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

“I just worked on the test and I took my time and I ended up getting 100%,” Tischler told St. George News at his school on Monday shortly after being officially presented with an award certificate and $500 worth of checks by Hurricane city engineer Arthur LeBaron.

“I enjoy doing math. I’m really good at it,” the soft-spoken Tischler said, adding that the test was “not too hard.”

Tischler received $300 for taking first place in state and $200 for winning region. His teacher Howard also received a $300 state-level award from the organizers of the Trig-Star competition.

LeBaron, who has proctored the test for local students for the past several years, explained the Trig-Star program is sponsored by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and locally by the Utah Council of Land Surveyors.

“These are professional organizations that promote surveying as a career profession,” LeBaron said, adding, “It’s kind of a dying profession. The age demographic is getting older and older, so we need new blood.”

Tischler, however, said even though the idea of being a surveyor is somewhat appealing to him, he is actually more interested in other potential math-related careers, including physicist and computer programming engineer.

The Trig-Star test, which is different each year, focuses on practical applications of trigonometry, such as calculating the area of a parcel of land.

“This is not a multiple choice test. These are 100% free response and they have to write down their answers,” LeBaron explained. “You can’t cheat on this test and you can’t guess on these tests.”

L-R: Diamond Ranch Academy math teacher Stephen Howard and student Logan Tischler receive award certificates from Hurricane city engineer Arthur LeBaron after Tischler achieved the top score statewide on the Trig-Star exam, Hurricane, Utah, May 20, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

To get an idea of what the multi-part Trig-Star assessment is like, click here to see the 2009 version of the exam and its answer key, which are among the previous years’ tests posted on Hurricane City’s website as study examples.

Next up for Tischler will be the national Trig-Star examination in another few months, when he’ll have the chance to win up to $2,000.

“All that preparation, time and effort that Logan  put in is obviously coming to fruition,” Howard said. “And I say, he’s got a chance of becoming a national champion.”

Howard said he hopes the strong showing of Tischler and other Diamond Ranch students will help give the academy more positive recognition.

“I mean, a lot of people say when you talk about Diamond Ranch Academy, ‘Oh, that’s the center for troubled youth,’” Howard said. “Well, no, it’s not. It’s a center for brilliance. And Logan’s proved that. I hope that’s a message that we can get out to the wider community. “

Cole Emmanuel, another Diamond Ranch student, ended up with the second-best score at the state level on the Trig-Star exam, scoring 88 points after completing his test in 18:32. Also, Diamond Ranch student Piper Moeller finished 14th in the state with a score of 65, finishing in 29:03.

Additionally, Hurricane High student Nya Farnsworth, who placed first on the test at her school’s level, placed ninth overall at state with a score of 76 and a time of 30:06. Fellow Hurricane students Zach Zong and Kaylee Nelson placed 16th and 21st at state, respectively.

For more information about the Trig-Star program, click here.

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

 

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