On Wednesday, April 26, Bishop Union High School (BUHS) students competed in the 2023 Trig-Star competition, a contest based on the practical application of trigonometry. Sophomore Alyssa Buchholz, daughter of BUHS math teacher Diedre Buchholz, secured first place with a score of 94 on her test after results were announced on Friday, May 12. She finished the exam in 24 minutes, 47 seconds, earning the fastest time in the local competition at BUHS and fifth place statewide. Her first-place local win merited a cash prize of $150.
Rounding out the BUHS winners, junior Brianna Coombes finished in second place with a score of 88 in 60 minutes flat, earning $75. Junior Victor Tordby finished his test in 37 minutes, 51 seconds and achieved a score of 84, earning him third place. His fellow junior Broderick Carter placed fourth by scoring 83 on his exam and completing it in exactly one hour. Third and fourth places were awarded $50 and $25.
The Trig-Star competition tests the students’ abilities to apply math to real-world situations and heightens the awareness of Land Surveying as a profession. The competition is sponsored by the National Society of Professional Surveyors, the California Land Surveyors Association, Caltrans, and the BUHS Mathletes. The Land Surveying profession is the art, science, and technology of locating or determining (by measurement) the shape or size of any portion of the earth’s surface and representing these surveys on maps.
In March of this year, Caltrans District 9 Senior Transportation Surveyor Sereyna Cagle gave a presentation introducing the land-surveying profession and Trig-Star Competition to a Bishop Union High School math class led by Diedre Buchholz.
Funding for the local and statewide competition came from the California Transportation Foundation (CTF), the National Society of Professional Surveyors, and the BUHS Mathletes. The BUHS Mathletes matched the monetary awards from the CTF this year.