After taking third place in chapter competition in Anchorage, the Homer Middle School Mathcounts team of eighth-graders Zane Boyer, Kenny Cortez, Douglas Dean and Logan Harris are on their way to state competition in Juneau on March 30.
They have been coached by Sara Reinert, who has taught math at Kachemak Bay Campus and has been coaching Mathcounts teams for years. Helping with the team’s preparations have been seventh-grade mathematicians Ben Kettle and Denver Waclawski.
The 12 competing schools in the Anchorage meet began with 30 questions in the 40-minute “sprint round” designed to test accuracy.
Then came the 30-minute “target round,” during which the students were allowed to use calculators. It included eight problems and featured multi-step problems requiring mathematical reasoning and problem solving.
Teams then sat together for the 20-minute “team round” of questions so complex it took a team to answer.
The 12 highest scoring individual competitors, including Dean, were paired up for a fast-paced “countdown round.”
When the results of the team competition were announced, the Homer students heard themselved named.
“When they said ‘Homer Middle’ we were ecstatic,” said Cortez.
Mathcounts is a “national enrichment club and competition program promoting middle school mathematics achievement through grassroots involvement in every U.S. state and territory,” according to the Mathcounts website. More than 6,000 schools and 6 million students have participated since the program began. The top four individuals and coach of the top team in each state meet for the 2013 Raytheon Mathcounts National Competition in Washington, D.C, on May 10. For more about Mathcounts, visit www.mathcounts.org.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.