SARANAC LAKE -For the fourth year, the Saranac Lake Middle School Math Club competed with more than 40 other students in the Champlain Valley MathCounts competition to take third place overall. Awards were given on a team and individual basis. The Saranac Lake team is now eligible to compete at the state level on March 17. The MathCounts competitions are open to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students.
Five schools (Beekman-town Central, Chazy Central, Saranac Lake Middle School, Peru Central and Stafford Middle School) and numerous individuals competed for the chance to advance to the next round. Not all schools were represented by a full team of four students.
This year's Saranac Lake MathCounts team consisted of Carley Sawyer, Michael Monroe, Justina Hewitt, Will Gray, Julia DeTar, Kaitrin Bodmer, Max Campbell, Ward Walton, Devan Kidd and Silas Swanson.
From left are Tyler Chase, Kaitrin Bodmer, Julia DeTar, Carley Sawyer, Michael Monroe, Max Campbell, (back) Ward Walton, Devan Kidd, Will Gray and Justina Hewitt.
The highest scoring individual from Saranac Lake, with a fifth place overall, was sixth-grader Ward Walton. Walton will join four other members to represent Saranac Lake in the state competition.
"I joined MathCounts because I like math and thought it sounded challenging," Walton said. "After working with the team, I have learned a lot of new formulas that help solve the problems during the competition."
Each year the top three teams from every region in New York move on to the State Competition held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Saranac Lake has qualified three of the four years they have competed. Coach Tyler Chase admits he is proud of how hard his team worked, using their lunchtime to practice math problems.
"I am thrilled with how everyone worked hard and supported each other," Chase said "It is always so interesting to see students engage in these math strategies. These students are busy with many different activities and choose to spend their lunch fine-tuning their problem-solving skills. It has been a privilege working with them. I am looking forward to seeing how we can do in Albany in March."
"The reason I joined MathCounts was so I could go from needing help in math to giving help in math," eighth-grader Michael Monroe said. Monroe is part of the team that will move onto the next level.
Held at the Clinton Community College Arts and Science building in Plattsburgh, Lake Champ-lain Valley MathCounts is a three-hour annual contest consisting of a 40-minute individual round, four short six-minute rounds and a team round. The competition showcases students' skills in algebra, probability, statistics and geometry.