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Indiana’s Top Young Problem Solvers Coming to Campus for State MATHCOUNTS Championships

March 9, 2012

Indiana's future leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career fields will showcase their problem-solving skills on Saturday, March 10, as Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology hosts the Indiana MATHCOUNTS championships.  The event is sponsored by the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE) to promote mathematics achievement.

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   Talented Mathletes: MATHCOUNTS is an educational program that encourages eighth-, seventh- and sixth-grade students to be proficient in mathematical problem solving.  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will be hosting the Indiana MATHCOUNTS competition on Saturday.

More than 200 eighth-, seventh- and sixth-grade students from 44 schools throughout Indiana will compete in three rounds of competition testing individual and team-working skills.  Then, the top 24 students will showcase their speed and accuracy in a game show-type Countdown Round.

Schools that historically have done well in the state competition include the Sycamore School, from Indianapolis; Honey Creek Middle School, from Terre Haute; West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School, from West Lafayette; Carmel Middle School, from Carmel; Seymour Middle School, from Seymour; and Schmucker Middle School, from Mishawaka.

The top six schools will receive team awards.  The top four students will make up Indiana's team that will compete in the national MATHCOUNTS finals on May 10-13 at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.  Indiana's team has consistently been a top contender in the national finals.

"Indiana has some of the best young minds in the country, and MATHCOUNTS is just one academic competition that showcases our outstanding students," states Rose-Hulman Mathematics Professor Elton Graves, who is helping organize this year's state competition.  "Youths that compete in MATHCOUNTS have gone onto become Indiana's 'Mr./Miss Math', 'Mr./Miss Science' and compete on the U.S. team in the International Mathematics Olympiad."

Indiana MATHCOUNTS contest coordinators are professional engineers Patricia J. Behrens and Gary S. Staats.  Other ISPE members and college professors serve as regional contest coordinators.

MATHCOUNTS was developed as a positive and rewarding solution to reversing the problem of math illiteracy and as a way to make parents, educators and the public aware of career opportunities in mathematics.  The program impacts these student "mathletes" at an age when they are formulating attitudes about math and technology, and encouraging them for math or engineering careers.  It also provides an opportunity to bring middle-school students together to prompt a lively exchange of mathematical ideas through competition.

The first three rounds of the Indiana MATHCOUNTS competition will take place from 10 a.m. to noon in the field house area of Rose-Hulman's Sports and Recreation Center.  The Countdown Round will be in the Hatfield Hall Theater, starting at 1:30 p.m.

Find out more about MATHCOUNTS at http://mathcounts.org.