Peet Mathcounts competes at State

At State, the Peet Mathcounts team placed fourth as a team and Evan Lin placed fifth as an individual on Friday March 22. This year, a new teacher stepped in for MathCounts, Jake Bates. There are four students in MathCounts: Kenny Biggs, Mason Li, Parker Steffen, and Evan Lin.

MathCounts has been around since 1983, and Peet has been competing since at least the early 2000s. Bates said, “The point of MathCounts is to challenge students who already have a high altitude toward math. All of the students in it are in advanced math, and they have a passion for math, so they all asked me to lead this year. It’s extra math on top of the school day, so it’s not graded, and it’s a nationwide competition.”

Bates also said, “In our practices, we try to have it pretty easy, the atmosphere, so it’s not super intense, so we try to have the first five minutes or so and the last five minutes just kind of relaxing and chatting, but then the practices we’re doing timed tests that are just like the competition, so that they can have the feel of what it’s like when they go to compete.”

The first competition that MathCounts went to this February was a chapter competition at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo. Out of 12 teams, Peet MathCounts got second place. Individually, three out of the four students in MathCounts got top 10 out of 100-150 students, and one student, Mason Li, got second place.

Li has been in MathCounts since seventh grade. When talking about the chapter competition, he said, “Most people don’t answer all the questions, like I didn’t answer them all, so it’s pretty difficult, but it’s a challenge for everyone.” 

Since they got second place here in Waterloo, they got a chance to go to the state competition. Since the state test was more difficult, they had to prepare more time for practice. Bates said, “We were practicing twice a week for a couple of months leading up to the chapter competition during Tiger Time, but we only got about 20 minutes of actual testing. After the chapter competition we’ve been doing Thursday nights after school for an hour, and that gives us more time to do some of the tests because most of the tests are 40 minutes, so most of the tests we couldn’t do very well during Tiger Time.”


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