On Sept. 15, Brevard Public Schools hosted the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) Abacus Bee. The APH Abacus Bee is the sole national abacus contest in the United States, open to students aged 5-21 who are blind or visually impaired. This year, the event is only being held in six different regions of the country.
Students from across the state participated in this mathematics competition, utilizing various techniques such as the abacus, mental math, finger math, or counting cubes/manipulatives to solve multiple problems within a designated time frame.
The event featured six testing rounds of competition, encompassing a range of challenges. These challenges included tasks where students had to read math problems in both print and braille, and subsequently solve them using either the abacus or mental math techniques. Additionally, there was a dictation round where problems were read aloud, requiring students to compute their solutions either on the abacus or mentally, and then record their final answers.
Notably, a student from Brevard secured first place in their category!
Beyond the competitive aspect, the event provided opportunities for hands-on exploration and engaging activities related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concepts. These activities were designed for both students and their family members to enjoy together.
It was inspiring to witness these talented young students gather to showcase their skills, solve equations, make new friends, and share their knowledge with their peers.