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Russ College hosts regional MATHCOUNTS competition

Bennett Leckrone and Colleen Carow | Mar 15, 2019
MATHCOUNTS

Russ College hosts regional MATHCOUNTS competition

Bennett Leckrone and Colleen Carow | Mar 15, 2019

Logan Middle School students left Ohio University with top honors after the regional MATHCOUNTS competition, hosted by the Russ College of Engineering and Technology on Sat., March 2.

Five local middle schools competed at the MATHCOUNTS Hocking Valley Chapter Competition for the chance to move on to the state competition at Ohio State University. Of the top 10 competitors, five students were from Logan Middle School, putting them in first place. Athens Middle School placed second.

Blayke Nutter, a seventh grader from Logan Middle School who had competed in MATHCOUNTS the previous year, came in first place overall. He said his favorite part of doing math?

“The satisfaction of getting a problem and finding a solution,” he said.

His coach, seventh grade math teacher Kelly Wolfe, who had been working with the students since Thanksgiving to prepare, said the competition is a great outlet for students who excel at math and want to learn more. 

“The type of student that participates in this event is a completely unique student,” Wolfe said. “They find their niche – they find that they’re not alone in the world.”Student volunteers from the Russ College, including industrial and systems engineering junior Alvin Chaney, helped run the event under the leadership of Assistant Dean for Student Services Grace Sallar.

Chaney said MATHCOUNTS not only means helping students better themselves, but also bettering the community as a whole.

“It shows dedication and a little bit of perseverance for students to come to this competition throughout their middle school years,” Chaney said.

One of the goals of the competition is to to expose students to a college campus. Logan Middle School math teacher Stacey Ballenger said the Russ College being host enables students to see what a math-oriented college looks like.

“This is where they shine,” Ballenger said.

For seventh grade Athens Middle School student Xirui Han, who placed second overall, math started to become an extracurricular interest when her dad began teaching her advanced problems in fifth and sixth grade after she outpaced her schoolwork. 

“I just like doing math problems, and then competing with other people,” Han said.

Top-performing students received wooden plaques made by the Russ College student chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.