Math Counts Competition 2013
Mathcounts competition draws 220 middle
school students to West Shore Community College
SCOTTVILLE — On Wednesday afternoon in
the West Shore Community College Recreational Center,
all eyes were focused directly on the piece of paper in
front of them, and the young minds were churning away to
find the correct answers to some very challenging math
That was the scene that took place when
the engineers of Manistee and Mason counties held their
30th Annual Mathcounts competition. This annual event
tests the math skills of area middle school students.
Bear Lake teacher Kathy Spalding takes a picture of
taking part in the Mathcounts competition.
The competition is comprised of three
rounds including: sprint, target and team competition.
Students work individually in the spring and target
rounds and as a group in the team one.
The 10 students with the highest combined
score at the end of those three rounds then take part in
a countdown round to determine the overall winner.
“Each of the tests increase in difficulty
through out the day,” said engineer consortium committee
member James Nordlund of Nordlund & Associates. ”The
sprint round is the easiest, and the team round the most
Schools taking part in the event come
from the area surrounding the college. Engineer Carey
Duran, of Harsco Track, said. The overall number of
participants varies on how many teams each school
There are up to 220 junior high
participants from Manistee, Manistee Catholic, Onekama,
Bear Lake, Kalava-Norman Dickson, Ludington, Ludington
Area Catholic, Covenant Christian, Oceana Christian,
Mason County Central, Mason County Eastern, Hart,
Pentwater, Baldwin, New Era Christian, Walkerville, and
Nordlund pointed out that the test is
geared strictly for this age level, and really
challenges the middle school students math skills. He
said the top teams have the opportunity to go on to the
“This test originated from the National
Professional Engineers,” said Nordlund. “We modified it,
as the national test only allowed one team per school.
Obviously, we have more than that here today from some
schools, because we thought it would reach more
“The winning team can go on to state and
national competition,” said Nordlund. “This year it will
be held in either Traverse City or Muskegon.”
Members of the committee indicated that
they plan to keep holding the competition in the future.
They say the teachers and students seem to enjoy it.
The West Shore exam is not all hard work,
however, as the engineers have planned an open
recreational period where the kids can use the
facilities at the College. The swimming pool and ice
arena are very popular with the students.
Engineers that have worked on the
Mathcounts committee are from Nordlund & Associates,
Inc., West Michigan Testing, OxyChem, and Harsco Track
Technologies as well as retired engineer Jon Cooley and
Bill and Shirley Mitchell of West Shore Community
College. Harsco Track Technologies purchased prizes and
awards while Kathy Surd, of the Intermediate School
Districts has coordinated the engineers and schools.
Posted by Ken Grabowski,
Manistee News Advocate