PARTICIPATE IN MATHCOUNTS
Zach Brannon, Ryan Coleman, Eric Hopkins, Aimee Mitchem, Gabe Raymond, Zack Russell, Brittany Sharp, and Austin Wells from Bolivar Middle School participated in the Ozarks Chapter MATHCOUNTS Competition on February 12, 2005 at Ozark Technical College in Springfield. Coaches Amanda Knudson, 7th grade math teacher at Bolivar Middle School, and Dr. Kevin Hopkins, professor of mathematics at SBU, accompanied them. There were four to eight students, in 6th-8th grade, from each of 14 schools around the Ozarks scheduled to participate in the competition. The chapter competition was supported with funding from 3-M Corporation.
PHOTO: from left: Eric Hopkins, Dr. Kevin Hopkins (coach), Gabe Raymond, Ryan Coleman, Zach Brannon
The top three teams, Immaculate Conception, St. Joseph Catholic School, and Middle Years Scholar Academy qualified to go to the state MathCounts contest, scheduled for March 26 in Columbia, MO. The Bolivar team of Zach Brannon, Ryan Colemen, Eric Hopkins, and Gabe Raymond finished fourth, nearly qualifying for the state competition.
PHOTO: 1st row from left: Ryan Coleman, Eric Hopkins, Gabe Raymond, Zack Russell
2nd row from left: Aimee Mitchem, Brittany Sharp, Zach Brannon, and Austin Wells.
The top ten individuals qualified for the state contest and the countdown round. Eric Hopkins of Bolivar, placed 4th. Other state qualifiers were from St. Joseph Catholic School (two), Immaculate Conception, Hickory Hills Middle School, and Middle Years Scholar Program (five).
In the countdown round, the student placing 10th faces off with the student placing 9th with a buzzer to see who answers two-three questions first. This continues until the countdown champion is determined. Eric Hopkins of Bolivar, placed 3rd in the countdown round. He defeated the 5th place individual 3-0 and then defeated the 3rd place individual 3-0. He lost to the second place individual 3-1 and that individual then won the countdown round defeating the first place individual.
“MATHCOUNTS is a national math coaching and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement through grassroots involvement in every U.S. state and territory.” (from http://www.mathcounts.org/Program/nutshell.html). The program began in 1983 and “each year nearly 6000 schools and over 500,000 students participate in MATHCOUNTS.” “MATHCOUNTS is more than a competition. It involves students and teachers in year-long coaching sessions and helps students at all levels improve their problem-solving skills.” The 2003 and 2004 National Competition have been broadcast on ESPN.
This was the second year that Bolivar has sent a team to the regional competition. The coaches applied for, and received, a grant from the Missouri Council of Teachers (www.moctm.org) of Mathematics to fund registration fees this year and next year. The grant, Funds for the Advancement of Mathematics Education (FAME), is a competitive grant to be used for the “improvement of skills, enrichment, and/or the development of concepts on the part of students.” Fourteen students have participated in the Math Contest Club that met twice a month in the fall and weekly in the Spring leading up to the MathCounts competition.