• Homer Middle School math minds head to Juneau competition
By Kenny Cortez
Special to the Homer Tribune
Last weekend, Zane Boyer, Logan Harris, Douglas Dean, Denver Waclawski, Ben Kettle and I went to Anchorage for the annual Math Counts competition. Zane, Logan, Douglas and I were on the official team, while Denver and Ben competed as official individuals.
When we first got to the meet, we went into a large room with a bunch of other kids from 11 other schools. After we registered, the competition soon began. We each sat at different tables with kids from other schools. The parents and coaches then had to leave the auditorium. The first round we did was the “Sprint Round.” It was 40 minutes long and consisted of 30 questions. After that round, all the kids excitedly awaited the answers.
After a short break, the “Target Round” started. It consisted of eight questions for teams in groups of two. We were allowed to use calculators and had six minutes to complete each set of two. When that round was over, it was time for the “Team Round.” The official team all sat together and we got right to work. The round was designed so that no one person could finish all the questions, so we had to divide up the problems between the team. After 30 minutes of hard work, the round was over.
We took a lunch break for pizza, nervously anticipating the results. After lunch, it was time for the “Countdown Round.” In that round, the 12 highest-scoring students compete two at a time until only one person is left. Homer’s Douglas Dean competed in this round, and then, finally, it was time to see the results.
At first, they announced the first, second and third places overall. None of us placed in this round, but we were more excited to see if we placed in the team round. They announced fourth place first, and it wasn’t us. Then, just as they were about to announce third place, we couldn’t wait to see if it was us. If it was, we would go to Juneau. When the announcer said, “Homer Middle,” we were ecstatic.
We went up, got our trophies and had our photo taken. We were so excited as we sat and waited for them to announce the rest of the placing. That day, we drove back to Homer, very eager to go to the state competition.
Kenny Cortez is an eighth-grade student at Homer Middle School and member of the Math Counts team.
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