Monday , 18 December 2017

Meet Finnegan McGoldrick, a Fourth-Grade Math Wizard Who Might One Day Design Your Video Games

By Christine Baker, TSB Staff

 

Finnegan McGoldrick from Wilmeth Elementary is the only fourth grader in the state of Texas to earn a perfect score on the Noetic Learning Math exam. The exam was purchased by 16 different schools and given to the students without any prior preparation. The students were given 25 minutes to complete the 20-question exam and McKinney’s very own Finnegan McGoldrick received special recognition for his perfect score.

“I was in my alpha program, which is the gifted and talented program.” Finn said. “My teacher (at Webb Elementary, where he is bussed to participate in the gifted and talented program) just said ‘Everyone, here’s a test,’ so I took it.”

Without even trying, Finn surprised his teacher and parents with his perfect score.

“That’s what’s hard to understand,” said his mother, Tracy McGoldrick. “He came home and said, `Hey, I got 100 on this thing,’ and we figured it was a quiz or something. Then he came back the next day and was like, `No, like I think I got the only 100 out of all of (fourth-graders at) Webb.’ I think we told him to go get his facts straight and it took probably three weeks until we finally emailed his teacher and said, `What is this test?’ ”

The most shocking part of the whole thing is that the students were tested randomly on the spot without studying or preparation, but Finn flew right through it without any problem.

“It wasn’t hard and it wasn’t easy.” Finn said. “It was just tricky. Some were multiple chocice and some were just questions. Throughout the test my brain was working really hard but when I got to the last question it took me a while to figure it out because my brain was pooped out.

“My teacher graded the test while we were out at recess and told us ‘Well, the only one who got a 100 was Finn.’ And I was like, ‘Cool!’ ”

No one really understood what an accomplishment this was until weeks later, not even Finn knew what he had gotten himself into.

“The last day of alpha I was the only one that got two medals,” Finn said. “I have a certificate and my medals in my room.

“I showed my mom my worksheets one time when her friends were here, and when I showed them none of them could figure it out.”

Finn moved to Texas from Wisconsin. And now that it’s clear what Finn’s strengths are, this little guy already has some big plans for his future.

“I probably want to design a video game or something like that.” Finn said. “Just designing something with computers.”

He said he wanted to attend the University of Wisconsin in Madison. “His dad is an alumni there.” Tracy McGoldrick said. “Finn has always been a smart kid with a thing for problem solving. … When he gets stumped he gets frustrated and he wants to figure it out.”

Wonder if you could get a perfect score too? Here are a few sample questions that will rack your brain.

Grade 4 Sample Questions

 

  • • In how many ways can Sherry, Chloe, Olivia and Ella stand in a line if Sherry doesn’t stand by Ella?
  • Find the 20th term of the following sequence:

           5, 7, 15, 17, 25, 27, …

A Few Fun Facts About Finnegan McGoldrick:

• Favorite Color: Orange
• Favorite Subject: Math
• Favorite Foods: All
• Favorite Music: All- his family is really into music
• He really wants to play the guitar
• Favorite video game: Pokémon- He’s currently playing the Heart of Gold Version
• He loves swimming and is on the swim team at the Stonebridge Country Club
• He hopes to play baseball when he’s older
• He just got his braces off about 5 days ago
• Favorite TV Shows: Pokémon and Bay blade
• Fun Fact: He was in the newspaper once when he was 3 – there was a photo of him dancing at a festival wearing different colored shoes
• Nickname: “little professor” given by his grandma
• Full Name: Finnegan Icarus McGoldrick
• His middle name was chosen because his father liked the story of Icarus from Greek mythology and it sounded good
• He and his younger brother, Tuck, are best friends
• He has a sister named Tatum

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