Math Counts team headed to state

Miranda Martin, SHS Intern

Salem Middle School’s Math Counts team will be going to state competition in March. While one may think that Math Counts is most likely the same as a Math Bowl, that isn’t true. 

Math Counts is a program that allows kids to participate in competitions involving mathematics. Those going to state are: Julia Casey, Zion Dunaway, Matthew Hurst, Matthew Johnson, Tennille Sorrels, Sebastian Miller and Madayln Irwin. Some will participate as team members and some will be participating individually. 

The competition series is set up in four levels — school, chapter, state, and national. Each level consists of four different rounds: sprint, target, team, and countdown. The sprint round focuses on speed. Each student has 40 minutes to complete 30 math problems without using a calculator. In the target round, the focus is on problem solving. Each student is given four pairs of problems and they have six minutes to complete each pair while using a calculator. The team round is based on problem solving and collaboration. Teams have 20 minutes to complete 10 math problems with a calculator (only four members of the team can take on this round). 

The countdown round is different. The students have a maximum of 45 seconds per problem without a calculator. This round is optional at the school, chapter, and state levels.

During a typical season teachers will work with their students throughout the year. Coaches will set up a school competition that usually takes place in January. From there, up to 10 students from each school will then advance to compete in the local chapter competition, which is usually held in February. Each school can send a team of four students and six individual competitors to the chapter competition. The top students from each chapter will then advance to their state competition, which takes place in March. SMS will advance to this round in March. If they advance four individual competitors from each state competition, they will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the national competition in May. 

See the full story in an upcoming issue of the paper.


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