CRESTVIEW — More than 500 students in Crestview High School's gymnasium bleachers screamed, applauded and whistled when four celebrities entered the room.
These were the stars of “Math Nation,” a free University of Florida tutoring website, and its “Algebra Nation” component.
Yes; teenagers went wild over math teachers.
After challenging Darnell Boursiquot, Zach Stepp and Amy Adams to a push-ups competition, scores of kids mobbed them, and fellow tutor Rachelle Felix, to take selfies and beg for autographs.
Teachers and students praised Math Nation for simplifying mathematics and making the subject exciting.
“We use it in our classes,” CHS math teacher Sandi Bufkin said. “We love Darnell.”
“Darnell’s our math rock star,” teacher Miranda Del Pozo said.
“He explains his stuff really nicely,” sophomore Gracie Gillis said.
“And he does it in ways we can understand,” her classmate, Amiah Banks, said.
“He’s very specific in his teaching,” David Feducia, also a sophomore, said. “He makes sense. He’s cool and chill.”
“Math is really exciting. It takes you a lot of places,” Boursiquot said. “If you’re really good at math, you can go any place you want, honestly.”
Math Nation tutors made half-hour stops Thursday at Davidson Middle School, Crestview High, Laurel Hill School, Baker School and Shoal River Middle School.
Their visits coincided with preparations for state tests, Okaloosa County School District math coach Stephanie Thetford said.
“Math Nation is another platform that teachers use in algebra I and II and geometry to help them prepare for end-of-course exams,” she said.
“It gets the kids fired up for their exams,” district spokesman Henry Kelley said.