Middle school students show math prowess in MathCOUNTS competition at Purdue


Author(s):Dr. Vincent Drnevich

Konwoo Kim and Nathan Hu

Konwoo Kim (left) and Nathan Hu finished second and first, respectively, in the Countdown Round portion of the 2015 regional MathCOUNTS competition.

Purdue campus and Science Outreach hosted ten Indiana middle schools and their best mathletes Feb. 7 for the A. A. Potter Regional MathCOUNTS competition.

The team from West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School, coached by Pam Porterfield, swept first place with spectacular performances by Konwoo Kim and Nathan Hu. Konwoo and Nathan finished with nearly perfect test scores, and Nathan edged out Konwoo in the countdown round to win that event. The other two on West Lafayette’s team are Andy Bertodano and Adam Earnst, and the team members from West Lafayette were the top four individuals in the competition.

The Happy Hollow Elementary team consisting of Gaby Colver, AJ Grama, Song Kim and Ranger Kuang, coached by Lucas Harmon, captured second place. Third place went to the team from Zionsville Middle School with members Joey Kurek, Grant Thompson, Jerry Tang and David Lian. They were coached by Joe Kurek. East Tippecanoe Middle School, coached by Tom Rice came in fourth. Members of this team were Mathew Beeler, Nick Nolte, Chris Page and Molly Page.

The Countdown Round of this event was especially exciting this year with many of the mathletes solving problems posted on a screen before moderator William Walker could read more than a few words of the problem.

The event was co-sponsored by the Purdue College of Engineering, Purdue College of Science, A. A. Potter Chapter of the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers, and the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers student chapter of the National Society of Professional Engineers.

The State MathCOUNTS competition will be held at Purdue on March 14 where 200 of the top mathletes in Indiana will compete for a place on the four-person Indiana team competing in the Raytheon National MathCOUNTS competition to be held May 8 in Boston. Purdue will award the top ten Indiana students in the state competition four-year partial scholarships to study engineering, science or math at Purdue. Rose Hulman will award the top male and top female students four-year partial scholarships to study at Rose.

West Lafayette team

The West Lafayette Junior High School team won overall honors at the 2015 MathCOUNTS regional competition.

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