Top high school math students compete in WYSE challenge

Feb 12, 2015

Each spring, North Central College hosts the sectional competition in the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) Academic Challenge. Designed to present a challenge to the brightest high school students, this year’s contest will be held Thursday, March 19.

The Academic Challenge is a competitive series of tests created and administered by WYSE and offered to high school students in Illinois and Missouri. Test material is drawn from senior high school and freshman-level college curricula. Written by teams of college and university faculty, subjects include biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, mathematics and physics.

Students compete as individuals and as part of a team, when their school fields a team; they have 40 minutes to complete multiple-choice tests that range in length from 30 questions (computer science) to 100 questions (English). The sectional challenge takes place in classrooms throughout North Central’s campus.

Awards are presented to top performing teams and individuals, who advance to state-level competition in April. Held in Urbana-Champaign, the annual Illinois WYSE challenge is sponsored by the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois.

The sectional challenge is hosted by North Central College’s Board of Trustee Associates. Students who compete at WYSE and later attend North Central College may be eligible for a scholarship funded by the College’s Board of Trustee Associates.

For more information about WYSE or North Central College’s Lederman Scholars program for talented high school students, contact Dr. Richard Wilders, Marie and Bernice Gantzert Professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of mathematics, at 630-637-5234 or

North Central College offers both B.A. and B.S. degrees in mathematics with focused study in pure mathematics, applied mathematics or actuarial science. The program prepares students for successful careers in education, actuarial science and wide range of math-related jobs in business and academia.

North Central also offers dual-degree programs in engineering in just four or five years. Students earn a B.A. or B.S. degree from North Central College and a B.S. in engineering from a partner university, either the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Minnesota.