Local middle school students compete in regional math contest

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2004

A team of middle school "mathletes" from Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School won the Southeast Regional MATHCOUNTS Competition on Feb. 7.

MATHCOUNT competitions are organized by the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers.

Twenty students from three middle schools in Juneau competed in the regional competition. The schools were Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, Floyd Dryden Middle School and the Juneau Montessori Adolescent Program. Each school had one official team of four students participating. In addition, Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School had four students competing as official individuals. Official contestants are eligible for the state competition.

Teachers, coaches and students have been preparing for the competition since early fall. Students competed in written and fast-paced oral matches in subjects that included algebra, probability, statistics and geometry. Winners received prizes and trophies.

Members of the winning team from Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, coached by Mary Borthwick, are: Gus Browning (fifth-place individual), Isaac Stark (sixth-place individual), Nick Waldo (third-place individual), and Dylan Wenzlau (first-place individual). The team will now advance to the state competition, to be held in Anchorage on March 6.

In addition to the top team, the top two individuals not on the qualifying team will advance to the state competition. Those individuals are: Ben Weyhrauch (second-place individual) from Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School and Scott Haecker (fourth-place individual) from Floyd Dryden Middle School.

The second- and third-place teams are from Floyd Dryden Middle School, coached by Sandi Pahlke, and Juneau Montessori Adolescent Program, coached by Tom Erickson.

MATHCOUNTS is a nationwide program designed to improve math skills among U.S. students. Sponsors target sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students, who are at a crucial stage in developing and sustaining math interest and ability.

MATHCOUNTS is a volunteer non-profit organization. National sponsors cover expenses at the national competition, but all state and chapter competition expenses are funded locally. The costs of promoting academic excellence are considerable and none of this is possible without the generous support of local sponsors, who include Architectural Services, Carson Dorn, Inc., Coastwise Engineering, Electric Power Systems, Gorman Engineers, Haight & Associates, Hansen Engineering LLC, Jensen Yorba Lott Inc., Minch Ritter Voelckers Architects, Murray & Associates P.C., Peratrovich Nottingham & Drage Inc., R & M Engineering - Juneau Inc., R & M Engineering - Ketchikan Inc., Toner-Nordling & Associates Inc. and USKH.

For more information concerning MATHCOUNTS, contact Douglas Murray, Southeast Alaska MATHCOUNTS coordinator, at 780-6151.

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