Statistically speaking, Anika Hall has a good shot at representing Oregon and the United States at an international statistics competition to be held this summer in South Africa.
In October, Anika won the state contest and earned a spot at a national contest that was originally scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C. Anika, 13, is the daughter of Frank and Kathy Hall, and is in the seventh grade at the Corvallis Waldorf School.
Due to budget constraints, the trip to Washington, D.C., was cancelled, but 22 contestants nationwide will take a test at approved sites around the country. Anika will take the test today at the OSU Statistics Department.
Four middle school and four high school students will be selected to attend the international statistics conference in Durban, South Africa. The world statistics contest will be held there.
Math comprehension is in Anika's genes. Her mother has a doctorate in statistics and teaches at Hewlett-Packard Co. She also teaches a class of six upper-level students at Waldorf School - including Anika - who are studying statistics.
"Anika is an energetic, enthusiastic student," said her teacher, Anais Alexander. "She is very well versed in all subjects including math, science, art and literature. She has a very developed scientific mind and communicates well."
At the Waldorf School, teachers stay with a class from grades one through eight. Alexander said she has watched Anika develop skills and grow in confidence over the years.
Kathy Hall said she learned about the statistics contest while reading a professional journal.
Anika said the test included 20 questions that required the students to go beyond computing equations and mapping graphs. Answers included written summaries of why the student came to a certain conclusion.
Although proficient at the sciences, Anika said she enjoys art and music even more. She also enjoys photography and dancing. She has attended Waldorf School since the first grade and appreciates the school's teaching style.
"We learn through stories, and our teachers are good storytellers," Anika said. "Because the classes are small, the teachers get to know us and we get to know each other well."
When she isn't at school, Anika enjoys exploring the Marys River.
Anika has one more year left at the Waldorf School and plans to attend Corvallis High School. Selecting a college is down the road a few years, but Anika knows she wants to explore as many jobs in her adult life as possible.
"You only live once, so you should experience as much as you can," Anika said. "I want to try being a firefighter, a car mechanic, a painter - a mathematician."
Alex Paul can be contacted at email@example.com or by calling 758-9526.