SBU hosts math contests for area elementary, middle schools

BOLIVAR, Mo. – About 370 students from 41 southwest Missouri elementary and middle schools gathered at Southwest Baptist University on Oct. 26 for math contests hosted by the SBU Department of Mathematics.

The 21st annual event centered on mathematical competition with individual and team components that allowed students to demonstrate their mathematical and problem-solving skills.

Of the 238 elementary students, 80 qualified for the next level, a regional qualifying round in the Missouri Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) contest in March 2020. In the middle school contest, 40 of the 127 students competing advanced to the MCTM state competition.

“My incredible experiences competing are what made me so passionate about paying it forward to my students now,” said Olivia Rowland, a student teacher at Republic Middle School where she is teaching science and coaching the math team. Rowland was an SBU math contest participant in 2008.

The competition field included fourth- through eighth-grade students from participating schools: Bolivar Middle School, Central Scholars (Springfield), David Harrison Elementary (Springfield), Fordland Elementary, Fordland Middle School, George Washington Carver Elementary (Neosho), Gray Elementary, Greenwood Laboratory School, High Pointe Elementary (Nixa), Holy Family Homeschoolers, John Thomas School of Discovery (Nixa), Lamar Middle School, Lewis and Clark Middle School, Mark Twain Elementary, Marshfield Junior High School, McBride Elementary, Neosho Junior High School, Neosho Middle School, New Covenant Academy, Nixa Junior High School, Osage Middle School, Osage Upper Elementary, Republic Middle School, Rolla Junior High Schools, Rolla Middle School, Shook Elementary, Summit Intermediate School (Nixa), The Barstow School, The Summit, Thomas Jefferson IDS, Walt Disney Elementary, West Elementary, Wheaton Elementary, Wheaton High School, Wilder Elementary and Wilson’s Creek.

“It is gratifying to see the excitement of students who want to come spend a Saturday doing math,” said Dr. Kevin Hopkins, professor and chair of the SBU Department of Mathematics. “It is great to see the support they have from parents and teachers.

“The problems on the contest are hard, but students look forward to seeing how they can do on the contest. They then have the opportunity to look again at the problems and learn some new mathematics. The problem-solving skills they are learning while participating in a math contest will serve them well in whatever future path God directs them.”

For students interested in more math-centered instruction and activities, registration is available for Math Contest Camps hosted this summer by Hopkins, for fifth- through 12th-grade students. To learn more about the contests and camps, please contact Hopkins at (417) 328-1675 or

For more information about Missouri Council of Teachers of Mathematics contests, visit

*Published: 11-8-19