On Feb. 14, when, as the poet said, a young person’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, a cadre of middle school students from four St. Croix schools will be engaged in something that really counts – mathematics, according to a news release from the V.I. Department of Education.
The 2019 Mathcounts chapter competitions will be held on St. Croix Feb. 14, with the St. Thomas-St. John district schools competing on Feb. 18.
The action begins at 9 a.m. Feb. 14 at the Great Hall of University of the Virgin Islands’ St. Croix campus.
Students representing Arthur A. Richards Junior High, Church of God Holiness Academy, John H. Woodson Junior High and the Good Hope Country Day School will participate in this year’s competition. The competition is open to the public and the Department of Education
At 9 a.m. Feb. 18, the spotlight shifts to the library at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School where, beginning at 9 a.m., students representing Antilles School and Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School will participate in this year’s competition.
Students will compete individually and as teams in written and fast-paced oral matches. Subjects include algebra, probability, statistics and geometry.
In a news release issued Wednesday, the V.I. Department of Education outlined how the competition works.
– The Sprint Round consists of 30 problems that are distributed to individual competitors. This round is a search for accuracy, in which only the most capable people will complete all of the items. Calculators are not permitted during this 40-minute round.
– The Target Round consists of eight problems presented to individual competitors in four pairs. This round features multi-step, calculator-active problems that engage mathletes in mathematical reasoning and problem solving processes. Calculators are permitted during this round; problems assume calculator use. The round goes for six minutes per pair of competitors, for approximately 30 minutes total.
– The Team Round consists of 10 problems on which the team works together to produce an answer. Team member interaction is permitted and encouraged during this round; problems assume calculator use. The round lasts 20 minutes.
– The Countdown Round is a fast paced, oral competition for top-scoring individuals (based on scores in the Sprint and Target Rounds). In this round, pairs of mathletes challenge each other in oral competition. Calculators are not permitted during this round. This round is considered an unofficial part of this competition and lasts 45 seconds per question.
The winning team will receive prizes, and will advance to the state Mathcounts finals, which will be held March 21 on St. Croix.
Local sponsors of the 2019 Mathcounts competition include the Virgin Islands Department of Education, Rotary Club Mid-Isle, the Rotary Club of St. Thomas II, and the University of the Virgin Islands.
Mathcounts is a national program designed to improve math skills among U.S. students. The program focuses on middle school students, who are at a crucial stage in developing and sustaining math interest and ability. Students who do not begin developing strong problem-solving, logical thinking and analytical abilities in middle school will face an uphill battle later in life if they wish to pursue a medical, scientific, mathematical, engineering or technical career, the DOE news release said.