Middle school mathletes met at Idaho State University today to face off and find out who was moving on to the state competition.
Class may not be in session on a Saturday, but that didn’t stop Middle Schoolers from Eastern Idaho from getting their math on today.
“Solving questions makes you satisfied, if you’re solving and it takes 10 minutes, eventually when you solve it you feel really good about it,” said 8th grader from Grace Lutheran, Jungho Park.
The math counts competition brought students from 10 area middle schools together to compete both individually and as a team at solving various math problems in hopes that they will advance to the state competition .
“Kids at this age, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, are at a critical age as far as developing math skills, and problems solving skills, so it’s important that we are recognizing them for their math skills,” said the South Eastern Idaho Math Counts Coordinator, Krystal Chanda.
The young mathletes refine their skills for months in preparation for today’s state qualifier, spending time preparing on top of their regular school work.
“It’s more challenging than what you’d see in a classroom and the problems are worded differently, they’re more complicated, and they make you think a little more, think outside the box,” said Adrienne Pavak, and 8th Grader at Holy Spirit.
The key to making this event a success is also making it fun for the students. They spend the day with food and friends, and after 3 rigorous exams and a countdown round where they go head to head, even if the student doesn’t win, they leave with something a little more important than an award.
“It gave me a lot more math experience so it helps me do math and it gave me more confidence to do everything, go to a bigger stage,” added Park.
The top 10 students from today's competition that advance to the state finals this March are:
1. Brian Zhu from Grace Lutheran, Pocatello
2. Mackenna Schow from Malad Middle School, Malad
3. Sanghun Yu from Grace Lutheran, Pocatello
4. Adriene Pavek of Holy Spirit Catholic School, Pocatello
5. Andrew Perry of Pocatello Community Charter School, Pocatello
6. Brian Cole of Hawthorne Middle School, Pocatello
7. Travis Lee of Hawthorne Middle School, Pocatello
8. Jungho Park of Grace Lutheran Middle School, Pocatello
9. Tessa Larsen of Hawthorne Middle School, Pocatello
10. William Yik of Grace Lutheran Middle School, Pocatello
The winning team was from Grace Lutheran, Holy Spirit took second, and Pocatello Community Charter School rounded out the top 3.