SMECO Sponsors 21st Annual Middle School Math Competition
The 21st annual regional MATHCOUNTS competition brought together more than 130 students from 19 schools throughout Southern Maryland to test their math skills at Calvert Middle School in Prince Frederick on Saturday, February 7.
MATHCOUNTS aims to boost student interest in mathematics by making the subject challenging and entertaining, to help students build a foundation for success in science, technology, and engineering. Each year, more than 500 regional competitions are held in middle schools across the country, with winners advancing to state competitions and then to the national competition.
MATHCOUNTS is a three-hour event with series of rounds featuring mathematics problems to challenge students one-on-one and as teams. First is the sprint round, a 30-question test that students complete individually. The competitors go next to the target round, where they have four sets of math problems and six minutes to complete each set of two questions.
In the individual competition, which is based on combined scores in the sprint and target rounds, Michael Gill from Milton Somers Middle School in Charles County placed first and Nicholas Matthews from Northern Middle School in Calvert County placed second.
In the team round, foursomes of students answer 10 questions in 20 minutes. The top 12 scorers finish the competition by facing each other in the countdown round, a single-elimination tournament in which students must respond verbally to questions in a matter of seconds. Michael Gill finished first in the countdown round and Preston Southan from Northern Middle School placed second.
In the team competition, Northern Middle School in Calvert County won first place; team members included Nicholas Matthews, Justin Patin, Preston Southan, and Devin Tran, coached by Carole Butler. Esperanza Middle School in St. Mary’s County placed second; team members included Margaret Holmes, Conlan McConvey, McKenna Randall, and Emme Staats, coached by Christopher Adams and Gabrielle Sivak. Milton Somers Middle School won third place; team members included Peyton Carney, Michael Gill, Sydney Marohn-Johnson, and Aashka Patel, coached by Jennifer Rowland and Jessica Stiver.
Sponsors for the local MATHCOUNTS competition are SMECO and the Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s county public schools, with the support of the National Society of Professional Engineers. SMECO employees and their families, along with members of the Kiwanis of Charles County and the Westlake Key Club, volunteered their time to help score the tests. Winners of the Southern Maryland chapter competition will go on to compete in the statewide contest at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. State winners will progress to the national competition in Boston, Massachusetts.