A competitive technological world requires a proficiency in mathematics as a foundation for success in science, technology, and engineering. MATHCOUNTS aims to boost student interest in mathematics by making the subject challenging and entertaining. 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 features rounds of mathematics problems to challenge students one-on-one and as teams over the course of the three-hour event. 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, Emily Smith from Milton Somers Middle School in Charles County placed first and Emme Staats from Esperanza Middle School in St. Mary's 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. Hannah Torgesen finished first in the countdown round and Annalee Johnson placed second. Both first and second place finishers are from Chesapeake Public Charter School.
In the team competition, Chesapeake Public Charter School in St. Mary's County won first place; team members included Annalee Johnson, Derek Nichols, Liam Smith, and Hannah Torgesen, coached by Ayrin Torgesen. Milton Somers Middle School in Charles County placed second; team members included Jack Glassman, Brandon Luton, Erin Possehl, and Emily Smith, coached by Jennifer Rowland. Esperanza Middle School in St. Mary's County won third place; team members included Gavin Furlong, Justin Martin, Allison Robinson, and Emme Staats, coached by Christopher Adams. The team from Southern Middle School in Calvert County finished in fourth place and the fifth place team was Northern Middle School in Calvert County.
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. Volunteers from the NSWC Indian Head EOD Technology Division and SMECO helped 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 Washington, D.C.
Third place team: Esperanza Middle School, St. Mary's County. From left, Emme Staats, Gavin Furlong, Allison Robinson, Justin Martin, and coach Christopher Adams.