The 2019 Traverse des Sioux chapter MATHCOUNTS competition took place at Minnesota State University Mankato on Feb. 1st, and once again Kahler Automation was a proud sponsor of this enriching educational opportunity for area students.
What is MATHCOUNTS?
According to the MATHCOUNTS website, "The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series is a national program that provides students the opportunity to compete in live, in-person contests against and alongside their peers ... and is open to all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students.
"Middle school students exist at a critical juncture in which their love for mathematics must be nurtured, or their fear of mathematics must be overcome. MATHCOUNTS provides students with the kinds of experiences that foster growth and transcend fear to lay a foundation for future success."
Long-time support from Kahler
The Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers hosts the annual Traverse des Sioux chapter MATHCOUNTS competition. Kahler Automation is a Platinum Level sponsor of the TdS chapter, sponsoring an annual golf outing fundraiser for the regional program. The company’s CFO, Chantill Kahler Royer, has volunteered at the event for more than 15 years.
“I have been involved in the competition since 2004, and I keep volunteering for MATHCOUNTS because I love seeing the students’ unjaded enthusiasm for math,” said Kahler Royer. “The middle school years are such an important time for students to figure out what they love to do and what skills they have. This is an opportunity for them to meet other students who love math, to compete and be recognized for their achievements, and to visit a university they may someday attend.”
This year 126 students from 14 schools participated in the event. More than 500 chapter competitions take place nationwide each year; there are 56 state competitions (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and schools worldwide affiliated with the Dept. of Defense and State Department. Teams are made of 4 students, and the school can bring an additional 6 individual competitors, for a maximum of 10 students per school.
“It is a pleasure being able to work with such talented kids,” said the Fairmont team’s co-coach Ashley Scheevel. “We are fortunate to have hardworking students who enjoy the challenge of mathematics. A big thank you to 3M for all their support — this wouldn’t be possible without them.”
3M is a major financial supporter of numerous individual MATHCOUNTS teams, and the program as a whole.
This year the top 3 teams and 4 individuals qualified to advance to the Minnesota MATHCOUNTS state competition, held March 8-9 at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth. The top 4 individual competitors at the state competition receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the national competition in May in Orlando, Florida. The 224 students at nationals compete for the individual and state team titles.
This year the top 3 teams were from Dakota Meadows Middle School (North Mankato), St. Paul’s Lutheran School (New Ulm), and Hutchinson Middle School (Hutchinson). The top 4 individuals were Joshua Moellers and Carter Juhnke from Hutchinson Middle School, Jonah Zhao from Dakota Meadows Middle School, and Bethany Spike from St. Paul’s Lutheran School.
Teams at the 2019 competition
Dakota Meadows Middle School (North Mankato)
Fairmont Junior High School (Fairmont)
Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop Middle School (Fairfax)
Hutchinson Middle School (Hutchinson)
Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial School (Lake Crystal)
Loyola Catholic School (Mankato)
Madelia Public School (Madelia)
Martin County West (Sherburn)
New Ulm Area Catholic Schools (New Ulm)
New Ulm Public Middle School (New Ulm)
Prairie Lutheran School (Fairfax)
St. Peter Lutheran School (St. Peter)
Sleepy Eye Public Schools (Sleepy Eye)
St. Paul's Lutheran School (New Ulm)
How the competition works
From the MATHCOUNTS website: "The Competition Series has 4 levels of competition — school, chapter, state and national. Each level of competition is comprised of 4 rounds — Sprint, Target, Team and Countdown Round. Altogether the rounds are designed to take about 3 hours to complete.
Sprint Round: focuses on speed and accuracy. Students have 40 minutes to complete 30 math problems without a calculator.
Target Round: focuses on problem-solving and mathematical reasoning. Students receive 4 pairs of problems and have 6 minutes to complete each pair, assuming the use of a calculator.
Team Round: focuses on problem-solving and collaboration. Students have 20 minutes to complete 10 math problems, assuming the use of a calculator. Only the 4 students on a school's team can take this round officially.
Countdown Round: focuses on speed and accuracy. Students have a maximum of 45 seconds per problem without a calculator."