Pierre Middle School students place 2nd in MATHCOUNTS Competition

A team of middle school Mathletes® from Southwest Middle School in Rapid City took top honors at the Black Hills Chapter MATHCOUNTS® Competition. The top individual was Megan Zhu, an eighth grader from Southwest Middle School.

Members of the winning team are: Megan Zhu (8th grade), Luther Busching (7th grade), Jessica Ketel (8th grade) and Ethan Meyer (7th grade) and coach Crystal McMachen. The team will now advance to the South Dakota State Competition, to be held in Pierre on March 9.

Also advancing to the state competition is the second-place team from Georgia Morse Middle School in Pierre. Team members are: Gianna Stangeland (8th grade), Jazzlyn Rombough (7th grade), Gunner Edson (7th grade), and Alec Venner (8th grade).

Photo L to R: Coach Jason Stangeland, Gianna Stangeland (8th grade), Jazzlyn Rombough (7th grade), Alec Venner (8th grade), Gunner Edson (7th grade).

Photo credit:  Jason Eatherton

More than 100,000 students across the U.S. participate each year in the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series, a national math competition that aims to build confidence and problem-solving skills for students who participate. 

Mathcounts is a nationwide math competition for middle school students. Students are selected to their school team and then compete at a regional (Chapter) competition. There are 3 active chapters in South Dakota.

The top 4 individual scorers at the state competition advance to the Mathcounts National Competition.
Questions progress in difficulty as you advance to each new level of competition. The competition itself consists of 3 rounds:

  • Sprint Round: Students work individually on a 40-minute, 30 question test without the use of calculators.
  • Target Round: Students again work individually, answering a total of 4 pairs of questions. Calculators are permitted. Students have 6 minutes to complete each pair of questions.
  • Team Round: a team of 4 works together, with calculators. They have 20 minutes to answer 10 questions.

Individual place winners are determined by the student’s score in the first 2 rounds. Team places are determined by averaging the 4 member’s individual scores and then adding in the score from the team round.