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Mathcount students place in competition

Mathcounts team pose with their award after the competition held on Feb. 7. The students who traveled to compete were Brittney Fouse, Marissa Abbott, Pierce Condo, Madison Sarver, Amelia Morning and Jonah Zolnak.

On March 7, students in the school club, “Mathcounts” traveled to Penn State to compete in  a math competition.  Six students attended the competition in hopes of taking first place prize.  Only four of six moved on to the state competition.

Wes Roger, the mathcounts team coach and eighth grade Algebra I teacher shared their experiences preparing for and finally attending the meet.

Q: What do you do at a normal meeting?

A: The students will work in small groups to solve some math problems, then about halfway through the meeting we’ll go over the solutions to the problems.  Then we’ll practice doing the countdown round, which is kind of like a math game show that the students participate in.

Q: What were your feelings walking into the competition?

A:  I was really confident that we were going to win; we had a couple really, really strong students this year.  I knew that some of the other schools had a lot younger teams this year so I was really confident that we were going to win.

Q: Were there any schools that had a lot of their children moving onto states?

A: There’s always good kids there, but one of our students finished second place overall last year as a seventh grader so I knew she was going to be an overwhelming favorite this year going into the competition.

Q: How many schools were included?

A: There are two regions that participated–Centre and Blair, and there were like two separate mini-competitions.  We competed against Hollidaysburg, Bellwood, Spring Cove and several other school districts including a small team from Juniata Gap this year.

Q: How was the competition set up?

A: At 9-9:30 we were checking in and getting everything ready, and just making sure the whole team was there.  At 9:30 they went into the first round, which they have 40 minutes to do 30 problems, and each of those questions are worth one point–then they have a 10 minute break.  Around 10:30 they started the target round, in which each question was worth two points each.  Then they got onto the team round in which there are 10 questions they have to do.  Then they had lunch and then awards.

Q: How do you feel for the kids you have moving on?

A: I was very excited for them.  We were working very hard all year and I’m very happy that we get to go to the state competition and that they get a reward for all that hard work.

Q: What about the ones who didn’t move forward?

A: Well, going into the competition, part of what we did this year in mathcounts was kind of select our competition team, so the ones who moved on–everyone who was eligible to move on did move on.  So, it was great.  The other students who did not move on knew going into the competition knew that they weren’t going to be eligible to move on, but they got great experience for next year.

Q: What to say to future students joining the mathcounts?

A: We have a lot of fun every week and I’d really encourage them to do it; they’ll have fun and they’ll have a chance to work on some types of math problems that we never get to cover in math class.

The four children who moved on at the convention will be traveling to states on March 28.

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