Ellis MathCounts team second in region

Published 8:52 am Thursday, March 31, 2022

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William Ellis Middle School’s MathCounts team placed second in the regional MathCounts competition.

Normally held in person, this year the competition was administered online. Approximately 100 of the top middle school students from several counties in northwest North Carolina competed.

The team’s performance qualified it for the state competition at the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics in Durham.

William Ellis had 10 students. Zach Hirata, Abbey Lankford, Lanna Robinson and Carden Stroud competed as the school team and as individuals, while Jonathan Hanes, Caswell Moore, Olivia Rareshide, Allie Rucker, A.J. Sweet and Logan Zuleger competed as individuals.

In the individual results: Rareshide placed 9th, Robinson 10th, Stroud 11th, Hirata 13th, Hanes 14th, Zuleger 15th, Moore 18th, Rucker 25th, Lankford 28th, and Sweet 42nd.

The team, coached by William Ellis math teacher Steve Rareshide, began practicing weekly after school in October, and several times weekly in January and February.

MathCounts is a nation-wide program designed to improve mathematical problem solving skills among middle school students, who are at a crucial stage in developing and sustaining math interest and ability.

As one of the longest-running STEM programs for middle school students in the nation, MathCounts encourages student interest in mathematics through written and oral challenges. Topics include algebra, geometry, number theory, patterns, and probability.

In North Carolina, MathCounts is sponsored by the Professional Engineers of N.C., which organizes the event for public and private middle schools. The top teams from the regional events advance to the state competition, and the state winners participate in the national finals.

A sample problem from this year’s contest: “The 5th power of a positive number is equal to the product of 2/3 and the 4th power of the number. What is the ratio of this number’s 10th power to its 8th power?” Answer: 4/9.