Massachusetts ‘mathletes’ will defend championship title at Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition
Four middle school students will represent Massachusetts in a math competition to defend their team's National Champion title in the 2013 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition in Washington, D.C., on May 10.
The annual event brings the nation’s best and brightest middle school math students to compete for individual and team National Champion titles.
“Attitude is great,” said team coach Josh Frost, who also coached the team last year that won the championship title. Three of the four students on last year’s team will be returning to compete again this year.
“They are sticking to the routine that worked for them last year,” said Frost, an eighth-grade math teacher from the Jonas Clarke Middle School in Lexington.
Seventh-grade student Michael Ren of the Pike School of Andover will join returning eighth-grade students Alec Sun of the Jonas Clarke Middle School in Lexington, Matthew Lipman of the Meadowbrook School of Weston, and James Lin of the McCall Middle School in Winchester.
"The Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition showcases the incredible achievements of our nation's most talented math students, and challenges them to reach their full potential in mathematics," said Lou DiGioia, executive director of MATHCOUNTS, in a press release.
Since 2008, Waltham-based Raytheon has been sponsoring the annual competition, which will award the individual champion an $8,000 Donald G. Weinert Scholarship for college and a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.
Statistics showing that students are turning away from math and science after they leave middle school are what prompted Raytheon to “become part of the solution” and start the MathMovesU initiative, according to Pam Erickson, vice president of Community Relations. As a company that hires engineers, Erickson said, Raytheon tries to increase interest in math and science to encourage career possibilities in those fields.
Overall, 224 ‘mathletes’ who represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S territories, will compete in the 2013 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition.
Last year in individual scores, Sun came in second place, Lin in eighth place, and Lipman in 23rd place among all competing participants.
Frost has been training the team representing Massachusetts for seven consecutive years now. Prior to teaching in Massachusetts, Frost taught in New Hampshire, where he also coached the state team for the MATHCOUNTS National Competition for six consecutive years.
“This is the 13th year that I’ve been training a team to try to win,” said Frost. “Having three-fourths of the team back, I feel that a little bit of the pressure is off.”
Frost’s team traveled to the country’s capital today.
Members of the winning state team will receive $2,000 in college scholarships and a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.