Editors Note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of a name.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Dozens of local middle schoolers filled the gymnasium at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Saturday morning, as part of the regional “MATHCOUNTS” competition.
Around 60 students from seven local middle schools took part in the event, according to Leanne Holder, a mathematics professor at Rose. She said she was excited to see the younger generation get engaged with their learning by taking part in the contest.
“As a mathematician, we really appreciate the opportunity to get young kids involved and excited about mathematics,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to showcase some of what Rose-Hulman has to offer, while at the same time having a good time working on math problems together.”
The top three schools in attendance were Honey Creek and Woodrow Wilson Middle Schools, as well as Saint Patrick School. The top two schools– and top three individuals– will move on to the state competition and a chance to win scholarships at universities like Rose.
Holder said the competition consisted of three parts; a speed round, a testing round and a teamwork round.
Holder said she thinks the teamwork round is valuable as it helps develop skills that apply outside of math.
“One of my favorite parts of the competition is the team competition because it does help learn those collaboration skills which are some important when you get to college and into the workforce,” she said.
Another standout for Holder was a “countdown” round, stylized like Jeopardy, when contestants buzz in their answers– helping incorporate some more fun into the day.
“I think the highlight of this competition, other than eating ice cream at the Union, is the countdown round held over at Hatfield Hall,” she said. “It’s like a quiz-show, game-show format where we bring up 24 people and they buzz in the correct answer faster than anybody else. It’s pretty fun to watch.”
Holder said some schools spend months preparing for the competition– something she thinks is useful in getting students excited about their education.
“Usually, after one competition, they’re hooked,” she said. “And next year, they’re bringing people into the fold to participate with them.”