MATHCOUNTS competition set for Thursday

About 250 Mathletes from 26 middle and junior high schools will participate in the 2012 MATHCOUNTS competition Thursday, Feb. 9 on the campus of Youngstown State University.

The competition is sponsored by the Mahoning Valley Society of Professional Engineers and YSU’s William Rayen School of Engineering and Engineering Technology in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Teachers and students have been preparing for the competition since the fall, and after several months of coaching, participating schools select students to compete individually or as part of a team in written and fast-paced oral matches. Participants will tackle problems that include algebra, probability, statistics and geometry. The top three teams plus the top six individuals from the local competition advance to the state MATHCOUNTS competition in Columbus on March 10. The top four finishers in the state competition earn the opportunity to represent Ohio in the national finals at the 2012 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition in Orlando, Fla., on May 11.

The local contest begins at 9 a.m. in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center on the YSU campus. During the morning’s written component, teams of four students as well as individual competitors from each school will answer a variety of questions that include topics covering probability, statistics, linear algebra and polynomials. The afternoon Mathbowl competition begins at 2:15 p.m. and follows a game-show format as teams of students from each school openly compete attempting to score points by correctly answering math questions. The final event is the Countdown Round, sponsored and funded locally by YSU Arby’s Restaurant.  This contest features a head-to-head competition among the top 16 contestants.

Awards will be presented at a banquet 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Ala Cart Catering in Canfield. The guest speaker will be professional engineer Bernard Petro. John Ritter, YSU professor emeritus of the Civil Engineering Department, coordinates the regional program.  Major funding for the local program is provided by Dominion East Ohio.

Participating schools include: Austintown Middle School, St. Joseph/Immaculate Heart of Mary, Boardman Center Middle School, Boardman Glenwood Middle School, St. Charles School, Canfield Middle School, Crestview Middle School, Heartland Christian School, Lakeview Middle/High School, East Palestine Middle School, St. Rose School, Reed Middle School in Hubbard, W.S. Guy Middle School in Liberty, Lisbon David Anderson Jr/Sr High School, Holy Family School in Poland, Poland Middle School, Willow Creek Learning Center, Struthers Middle School, Howland Middle School, Jefferson School, John F. Kennedy Jr/Sr High School, Lincoln School, McGuffey School, Willard K-8 School, Chaney High School and the Montessori School of the Mahoning Valley.

(Editor’s note: The Mathbowl Contest and the Countdown Round provide the best action photo possibilities. The Mathbowl preliminary rounds take place in Kilcawley Center’s Chestnut Room and Ohio Room from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., with the final round in the Chestnut Room at 1:30 p.m.  The Countdown Round begins approximately at 1:45pm and ends around 2:15 p.m. A breakdown of schools participating in the local competition is attached.)

The YSU News Center maintains the official news of Youngstown State University.

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