Throughout February, approximately 40,000 students from 5,000 schools across the nation compete in Mathcounts, the premier math competition for students in grades 6-8. This highly competitive program attracts students from both public and private schools and challenges their computational and problem-solving abilities via individual and team rounds. 

On Saturday, February 4, 45 schools (with 360 students) in the northern Virginia area met at George Mason University for the regional MathCounts competition. The following students represented ICS:
8th graders Lars, Alicia, Michelle
6th graders Chris, Ethan, Paul, Tyler, Madelyn, Charlene 

If you happeMathcounts1n to see one of these students, feel free to ask them about their experience. Words like “hard,” “scary,” and “fun!” could probably all be used in the same sentence when describing the day’s events. One of my greatest joys is seeing ICS students rise to new challenges. Once all of the scores were tabulated, Tyler received special recognition as the top 6th grader in the George Washington chapter and Lars was named top-scorer for ICS. In addition to those two trophies, the ICS team received a trophy for placing 6th in the George Washington chapter.   

Many thanks to Mrs. Chris Pate, former ICS math teacher, for helping prepare Math Club students for this event, to Mrs. Esther Hyun, Upper School Math Teacher,  for her assistance, and to the ICS administration for their support. Congratulations to all on a job well done! -Nancy Ferrell, Upper School Math Teacher

Mathcounts2Below, 8th grade top ICS scorer Lars shares his thoughts about his first time attending the MathCounts Competition.

Describe what you did at the MathCounts Competition.
When we got to the University we sat down at tables with our school and they told us what we were going to do and they gave us tests. We took the tests and then they talked to us until they got the results. The tests had tricky problems. Some of them were very hard.


What was the most challenging thing about the competition, and why?
The most challenging thing about the competition is that I didn’t bring a calculator and some problems that were very hard. Big problems. Lots of crunching numbers!

How do you think ICS helped you prepare?
ICS prepared me for taking long tests. Our math midterm was 90 problems. I learned how to work different types of problems and that helped me.

Mathcounts7What was the highlight of the competition?
The highlight of the competition for me was finishing the tests and knowing that I got it done (and I didn’t have to do it for another year!).

What advice do you have for any students thinking about doing the competition next year?
Bring a calculator! And go to Math Club so you learn what to do. We worked the kinds of problems that were on the tests and expanded our math knowledge.

Mathcounts3What was your reaction when you found out you were the top scorer?
When I found out I was the top scorer I was like, “Wow! That’s pretty good.” I was ecstatic but surprised.

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Written by Erika McKellop, Librarian and ICS Blog Enthusiast