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The MathCounts competitors deserve a slice of celebratory Pi

The RHMS MathCounts team participated at the regional math competition on February 3 at Sturm Hall at the University of Denver. Top Row (from left to right): Aspen Shih, Cynthia Du, Jessica Wang, Bhavya Surapaneni, Jamie Kim, Mimi Telford. Bottom Row (from left to right): Max Xu, Joshua Ruegge, Anthony Chui, Esvaran Selvaganapathy Arun and coach Chris Gowing.



By Kira Zizzo, RHMS intern writer; photo courtesy of Rocky Heights Middle School

Analytically inclined minds deciphered probability, geometry, algebra and counting number problems on Saturday, February 3 in the Sturm Hall of the University of Denver. Participants from the Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) MathCounts club eliminated their competition from the equation with their mathematical knowledge and skillful application of it. In the MathCounts competition, there were close to 200 participants from the Denver metro area, including RHMS seventh and eighth graders Esvaran Arun, Cynthia Du, Joshua Ruegge, Aspen Shih, Anthony Chui, Jamie Kim, Bhavya Surapaneni, Mimi Telford, Jessica Wang and Max Xu.

The club members took a written test, and the top 10 scorers were invited to participate in the regional MathCounts competition. The event was configured so that the competitors sat with their school team in rows. The students took two math tests individually and in their teams of four, they took one math test. The first round was a sprint round where participants had 40 minutes to solve 30 problems.

The second round consisted of the target round. In this round, participants were given two questions at a time and six minutes to solve them with a total of eight problems in this round. A team round occurred subsequent to those two rounds. The top four RHMS students, who were determined earlier in the competition, were selected to participate in this round. The top 10 students, which included three RHMS students competed in a countdown round to battle it out with another participant in the group. (The student in tenth place faced off with the student in ninth place.) In this competition, the students pressed a buzzer to answer a question faster than their competitor. The winners climbed up the ranks. If the student won, they competed against the person next in the top 10.

The RHMS team was impressive and proudly represented the school. Chris Gowing, the MathCounts coach and RHMS math teacher said, “We have amazing students at RHMS. Our math club prepared hard all year for this competition, and the results show it. I am very proud of each and every one of them.” The four-person team of Max Xu, Esvaran Selvaganapathy Arun, Jessica Wang and Jamie Kim scored high on the mantle, placing third out of 45 teams. All 10 of the competitors from RHMS placed in the top 50 percent. As individuals, Anthony Chui placed third, Esvaran Selvaganapathy Arun placed seventh and Max Xu placed ninth.

On March 24, at the Colorado School of Mines, Esvaran Selvaganapathy Arun, Max Xu, Jessica Wang, Jamie Kim, Anthony Chui and Joshua Ruegge competed in the state competition due to their outstanding performance at the regional competition.

Esvaran Selvaganapathy Arun has a deep appreciation for math and said, “Math is extremely important because it certainly lays the foundation for certain careers that might require knowledges of particular areas of math.” Congratulations and to all 10 participants who made RHMS genuinely proud to be represented by them.

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