Over 70 students from seven local school districts took part in the MathCOUNTS competition on Tuesday, February 19 at Penn State Worthington Scranton.
At the end of the day, it was the team from Dingman Delaware Middle School that took first prize and will move onto the state competition this spring in Harrisburg.
MathCOUNTS is a national math enrichment, coaching and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement throughout the United States. It has been taking place locally for at least 20 years, and hosted by Penn State Worthington Scranton for over five years.
Locally, it is sponsored by The Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers (PSPE). Tina Merli, senior instructor in engineering at Penn State Worthington Scranton, helps coordinate the event at the college and members of the campus's American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Student Chapter volunteer to work the event.
"The contest really draws attention to the importance of mathematics and trying to get the students thinking about careers that involve math -- with engineering obviously being one of those careers," said Mary Bogart, MathCOUNTS chair and a member of PSPE.
This year, seventh and eighth graders from Delaware Valley, Lakeland, North Pocono, Old Forge, Tunkhannock, Wallenpaupack and Western Wayne took part in the competition, as well as a home-schooled team - the Maple Lake Math League.
Individual students, as well as teams, started the competition with a written examination. Then the top 10 competitors faced off in a timed oral competition called "The Count Down Road".
Students even got a 'taste' of college life while at the campus, enjoying lunch at the campus and being treated to an ice cream social, courtesy of the campus's Student Services Department.
The MathCOUNTS competition was held in conjunction with Engineering Month at Worthington Scranton and helped highlight the campus's engineering programs and enineering as a career option.
Later this month, the campus hosts Engineering Information Night on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. in the Study Learning Center's Sherbine Lounge. Dr. Majid Chatsaz, an associate professor of engineering at Worthington Scranton, will be the speaker and there will also be a panel of engineering professionals sharing their insights and experiences in this career field.