February 3, 2010


Claire receives her certificate -->

<--Anna & Janique concentrate

Adding up knowledge

Local engineers host 25th annual Mathcounts competition at West Shore Community College

By KEN GRABOWSKI, Manistee News Advocate Associate Editor
Published Friday, February 5th

SCOTTVILLE -- Some scratched their heads, while others visibly grimaced, and others yet stared out in front of them as the wheels were turning in their young minds searching for that elusive answer.

All of them were taking part in the 25th annual Mathcounts competition held this week at West Shore Community College that is sponsored by a consortium of engineers from the Manistee, Mason and Oceana county area. Working with them on them on Mathcounts were the Mason-Lake Math-Science Center, the Manistee Intermediate School District and the Oceana Intermediate School District.

Manistee County schools that sent middle school teams to the competition were Manistee Area Public Schools, Bear Lake, Onekama, Brethren. Overall there were 58 teams and 234 competitors taking part in the 2010 Mathcounts program.

Kay Salyer of the Manistee ISD said the program is always an excellent one that really challenges the students in their knowledge of math.

“There are three rounds, as they open with a sprint round of 30 questions,” said Salyer. “They also have a target round, which is an individual test with eight questions. Then there is the team round as the teachers grade all the scores and they come up with the top 10 scores. Those top ten then go to another room to come up with the number one individual for the whole day.”

A typical example of a question was “If Brutus wanted to make a circular corn maze of 1,240 square feet. What was the radius of the maze in feet, if he used pi equal to 31/10?”

Salyer said it isn’t all work for the students as they get plenty of time to have some fun along the way.

“While they are doing the countdown round, all the other students are invited to play in the gym, at the pool and the ice arena,” said Salyer. ”After that they all came back for an awards ceremony, and to receive their individual medals.”

The Mathcounts competition at West Shore Community College is really a practice run for the regional examination to be held late in February in Muskegon or Traverse City.

Students from Manistee County seventh and eighth grade were joined by students from Mason County Central, Mason County Eastern, Free Soil, Hart, Pentwater, Baldwin, Hesperia, Walkerville, and Shelby.

The engineers who volunteer their time to this worthy cause come from a variety of businesses in the area including Nordlund and Associates, OxyChem, Packaging Corporation of America, Harsco Track Technologies. The Harsco Technologies purchased prizes and awards for the winners.

Financial support came from the Mason-Lake and Manistee Intermediate School Districts as it was a team effort to make sure the program work came off without a hitch for the 25th consecutive year.

The top 10 individuals were  Nathaniel Bradford  (Mason Co Central), Joshua Ritzema  (Mason Co Central), Jason Beckman (Shelby), Anders Asiala (Mason Co Central),  Brittany Trombley  (Onekama), Nick Veine (Manistee), Claire Harvey (Onekama), Dirk Kluesing  (Mason Co Central) and Devin Mussell (Shelby)

Top teams in Mathcounts were Manistee (Team 2),Mason Co Central (Team 1), Shelby ( Team 2), Onekama ( Team 1), Shelby (Team 3), Ludington (Team 6), Pentwater (Team 1), Hart ( Team 1) Mason Co Eastern ( Team 1) and Ludington ( Team 7)

Countdown winners were Joshua Ritzema (Mason Co Central), Brittney Trombley (Onekama), Nicke Veine (Manistee) and Claire Harvey (Onekama).
Ken Grabowski can be reached at: 

Janique Berard, Jacinda Misico, Brittany Trombley, Anna Brown, Mrs. Warman, Claire Harvey, Haley Maser, Kayla Feil
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