MATHCOUNTS - PENC Supporting Math Education
Each year, increasing numbers of schools are discovering MATHCOUNTS, a program that rewards students for excellence in mathematics. Hundreds of North Carolina students participate in MATHCOUNTS competitions held in February each year. This nationwide math competition for seventh and eighth graders is sponsored in North Carolina by PENC with the cooperation of the NC Department of Public Instruction, the NC Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and several corporate sponsors.
Why PENC Supports MATHCOUNTS
MATHCOUNTS prepares students for advanced mathematics courses and for careers in many technical fields, including engineering. The program offers our members a positive way to support and strengthen math education at the junior-high level. Our specific goals for MATHCOUNTS are:
- To increase students' motivation to be "math literate" by giving recognition to outstanding math students.
- To educate the public about the importance of mathematics and the role math-oriented jobs play in our technological society.
- To help strengthen math curricula in our schools.
How the Program Works
Each PENC chapter has a MATHCOUNTS chairman (listed in the right frame of this page) directing a committee to encourage school participation, produce publicity, secure local sponsors, and organize volunteers to run the chapter competitions. PENC provides each chairman with a Chapter Competition Planning Guide that recommends procedures for organizing the competition.
In August, PENC sends schools registration materials. Throughout the fall, teachers at participating schools coach their students and administer an in-school competition. These activities spur students to view math as challenging, rewarding, and fun.
In January, teachers administer a test to all students interested in becoming a member of the school's team. A team consists of four members, an alternate, and coach. Beginning in February, the teams compete at one of ten PENC chapter competitions held across the state.
Each competition consists of written and oral contests requiring both team and individual work. Team and individual winners are selected on the basis of the combined scores of the contests. The top-scoring teams at the chapter level advance to the state competition held in the Raleigh/Durham area in March. If the four top-scoring individual are not members of these top-scoring teams, they are also invited to compete at the state competition.
The four top-scoring individuals at the state competition from the North Carolina team enter the national competition in Washington, DC. All travel expenses to the national finals are paid by national MATHCOUNTS sponsors.
North Carolina Students are Winners
Teams from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Panama, the State Department and Defense Department Schools compete at the national level. North Carolina students consistently do well in the competition and always win from the experience even when they do not bring home a trophy.
Chapters report that MATHCOUNTS is the most exciting program initiated by NSPE in recent years. The program is an excellent opportunity to involve new members and is also attracting the support of our long-time members.
If you have not seen a MATHCOUNTS competition, don't miss out again! Many volunteers are needed on the actual day of the competition. A small amount of volunteered time can make a big difference with MATHCOUNTS.
Get involved in MATHCOUNTS
Contact your chapter representative today!