George Voigt, Melanie Subbiah and Billy DeLucia know how to form a graph. And that was just one part of the 15th annual High School Mathematics Modeling Contest put on by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications.
"Reading over the project that we turned in, you know was well written and we had done a good job with it, but I can't say that I thought we would do as well," Voigt said.
Outstanding to be exact. The team had to study gas prices over a 12-year period and use the numbers to predict when it is the best time to fill up at the pump. They only had 36 hours for the task. Of the 518 teams around the world taking part, Hanover's modeling team, with its 25-page report, was one of just eight schools to receive the top score. The seniors have all taken the school's modeling class. Not present on this day but on the team is Katherine Chen.
"If you look at the other schools in the outstanding rank, most of them are private school or technical schools. Two of them, I think, are from China. So, I think it is exciting that a public high school from rural New Hampshire is able to compete," Subbiah said.
"It was really cool," DeLucia said. "People were walking up to me and Dan and Whits and saying congratulations."
Congratulations for being the best. But when you take into account their final conclusion about saving money at the pump, the victory is a little bittersweet.
"You can't really save that much gas. You can save $200-$300 over 12 years," DeLucia said.
This is the second time in the nine years that the school has competed in the contest that the team from Hanover has been named outstanding. And teachers say they hope to repeat the feat as long as there continues to be an interest among students.