Area middle school students compete in Mathcounts

SCOTTVILLE — A puzzled look initially came over the face of a student followed by a large smile indicating they were certain of the answer to the question in Wednesday’s

The Manistee Catholic Central team were working together well during the team portion of Mathcounts competition.

The Manistee Catholic Central team were working together well during the team portion of Mathcounts competition.

Mathcounts competition at West Shore Community College.

For the past 35 years Mathcounts has been testing the math skills of middle school students from Manistee Intermediate School District and West Shore Educational Service District. More than 220 seventh and eighth grade students took part in the 2018 event that was sponsored by local engineers, the Mason Lake Oceana Mathematics and Science Center, and the Manistee Intermediate School District.

Schools that took part this year were Brethren Schools, Onekama Consolidated, Manistee Area Public, Manistee Catholic Central, Mason County Central, Ludington, Hart, Pentwater, Shelby, Oceana Christian, Walkerville and Ludington Catholic.

Manistee ISD general education consultant Kim Rinehart said it was another well-run event.

“Everything really went smoothly and the kids all seemed to have a good time and were all excited about it,” said Rinehart. “The energy in the room is really something to see as they are all so focused on what they are doing.”

In addition to the Mathcounts competition the students are given the opportunity to use the WSCC pool, gym and ice arena, making it a full day of fun.

In Mathcounts the students compete both as individuals and teams. Students take part in four rounds including the sprint, target, team and countdown. The countdown takes place between the overall top 10 scorers of the day.

What is at stake is a plaque and the opportunity to win a scholarship for a WSCC Calculus Level I class.

Manistee County did have one student make a strong bid to win the individual countdown round. Solana Postma, from Manistee Middle School finished second behind Ludington’s Mathew Snyder. A tie occurred for third place between Ludington Catholic’s Jack Jubar and Sophia Grierson.

The students who made it into that countdown round besides those four were Lucas Thibault, Tyler Gingras, Jake Nienhuis, Charlie Banks, Joseph Hayes, Alan Stephenson, Vibeke Rivet, Kaylin Sam and Maddax Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was from Brethren Middle School.

Ludington teams dominated the top team divisions as those included Ludington 1 (49.25 points), Hart 1 (46.75 points), Ludington 4 (44.5 points), Ludington Area Catholic 1 (44.25 points), Ludington 2 (43.75 points), Ludington 3 (41 points), Mason County Central 6 (41 points), Shelby Middle School 1 (41 points), Oceana Christian 1 (37.25 points) and Manistee Middle School 3 (36.25 points).

Manistee Middle School teacher Kathy Smith said she was proud of all 30 students who made the trip to West Shore Community College to compete.

We had a great time and took seven teams of four students (seventh and eighth graders) and two alternates,” said Smith. “We were super proud of all of our students’ performances and they all worked hard and gave their best effort.”

Smith also praised the team that placed in team competition.

“The team of Courtney Haag, Alyssa Jackoviak, Solana Postma and Aiden Prince placed in the top 10 teams (10th place) and that was great to see,” said Smth.

This year there were a total of 56 teams in the competition with seven coming from Manistee Middle School, three from Onekama Consolidated, and two each from Manistee Catholic Central and Brethren Schools. Sixty-two students in all competed from the Manistee Intermediate School District.

Onekama Consolidated Schools math teacher Michele Warman said her students always enjoy the opportunity to compete at Mathcounts.

“As a “mathlete” coach for Onekama, I am always excited to bring my students to this event. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to see how math is used in the real-world and how important it is to work together as a team to solve a problem,” said Warman. “We are looking forward to next year.”

Brethren math teacher Laura King praised the efforts of her team.

“Brethren Middle School was represented by Math Counts Team members Halle Richardson (grade 8), Cody Krows (8), Meridee Gutowski (grade 7), Jane Amstutz (7), Sydney Bialik (7), Joshua Stevenson (7), Nathan Burkhart (7), Maddax Fitzgerald (7), and Alexander Gorm (7),” said King. ” All students did a great job, working rigorously on the math.”

King said she was really impressed with the way the Mathcounts organizers turned it into a fun day for the kids.

“After a tough afternoon, they provided the kids with some fun activities such as skating, swimming, and open gym and all participants received a Lee B. Drelles Memorial Math Counts Scholarship allowing them a tuition-free upper-level math class from WSCC which was very nice,” she said.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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