Middle School Math Whizzes Score Big at MathCounts Competition

March 15th, 2006 by Adam

Middle school students from all over the state came to Plymouth State University Saturday, March 11 to compete in New Hampshire’s MathCounts Competition. Plymouth State has hosted the statewide math competition since 1986. At this year’s event, a record-breaking 230 people spent the day at the university to compete and cheer on the competitors.

The competitive mathematics program is open to sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students who participate first at their local schools, then at one of six regional contests. Once a year, the three winning teams from each region, together with top-scoring individuals not represented on those teams, compete at the state contest to determine the four top-scoring winners who will represent New Hampshire at the yearly national competition. The statewide contest is hosted by the New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and coordinated by PSU mathematics professors Dr. Jack Barry and Roger Blake.

At the state MathCounts meet, students compete in three written tests known as the Sprint, Target and Team rounds. Based on the results of those rounds, the 12 top-scoring individuals compete in the Countdown Round, a fast-paced test in which competitors must answer questions projected on a screen in less than 45 seconds.

The top four competitors at the state meet also compete in a Masters Round, during which each student is required to explain the solution to a mathematics problem to a board of judges. Students are graded on the completeness and accuracy of their presentations.

The New Hampshire state MathCounts team, which will compete in the national MathCounts competition on May 12 in Arlington, Va. includes individual first place winner Young-Soo Jang from Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan; second place winner James Lu from Hollis Brookline School in Hollis; third place winner David Xiao from Cooperative Middle School in Stratham and fourth place winner Julia Murdza from Richmond Middle School in Hanover. The team will be coached by Joshua Frost of Cooperative Middle School, Stratham.

Other MathCounts results for winning school teams and round winners are as follows:

Winning school teams:

1st Place – Cooperative Middle School, Stratham (Coach Joshua Frost)

2nd Place – McKelvie School, Bedford (Coaches Diane Riehl and Lauren Dokas)

3rd Place – Cardigan Mountain School, Canaan (Coach Ed Ramos)

Masters Round winners:

1st Place – David Xiao from Cooperative Middle School, Stratham

2nd Place – James Lu from Hollis Brookline School, Hollis

3rd Place – Young-Soo Jang from Cardigan Mountain School, Canaan

Countdown Round winners:

1st Place – James Lu from Hollis Brookline School, Hollis

2nd Place – Hunter Hicks from Keene Middle School, Keene

3rd Place – David Xiao from Cooperative Middle School, Stratham

4th Place – Daniel Kassler from McKelvie Middle School, Bedford

For more information about the MathCounts program, visit the New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers’ Web site, www.www.nhspe.org/pages/mathcounts.html

Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.