Support our mission
 
Madeline Geer, a middle school student at AFNORTH, works on a math problem during a MATHCOUNTS state competition March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany.  Geer finished as runner-up in the Countdown Round portion of the contest. Middle school students from Department of Defense Dependents Schools were battling for a spot in the national math contest at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in May.
Madeline Geer, a middle school student at AFNORTH, works on a math problem during a MATHCOUNTS state competition March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany. Geer finished as runner-up in the Countdown Round portion of the contest. Middle school students from Department of Defense Dependents Schools were battling for a spot in the national math contest at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in May. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)
Madeline Geer, a middle school student at AFNORTH, works on a math problem during a MATHCOUNTS state competition March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany.  Geer finished as runner-up in the Countdown Round portion of the contest. Middle school students from Department of Defense Dependents Schools were battling for a spot in the national math contest at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in May.
Madeline Geer, a middle school student at AFNORTH, works on a math problem during a MATHCOUNTS state competition March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany. Geer finished as runner-up in the Countdown Round portion of the contest. Middle school students from Department of Defense Dependents Schools were battling for a spot in the national math contest at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in May. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)
Nadia Whitehouse, an eighth-grader at Wiesbaden Middle School, works on solving a math problem during the early rounds of a MATHCOUNTS state competition on March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany. Middle school students from DODDS were vying for a coveted spot in the national championships in May at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Nadia Whitehouse, an eighth-grader at Wiesbaden Middle School, works on solving a math problem during the early rounds of a MATHCOUNTS state competition on March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany. Middle school students from DODDS were vying for a coveted spot in the national championships in May at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)
Casey Lambert, a middle school student at Menwith Hill, competes in the semifinals of the Countdown Round of a MATHCOUNTS state competition held March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany. The Countdown Round is similar to a game of Jeopardy where the kids have a certain amount of time to buzz in a correct answer to a problem. Forty-one DODDS students took part in the competition.
Casey Lambert, a middle school student at Menwith Hill, competes in the semifinals of the Countdown Round of a MATHCOUNTS state competition held March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany. The Countdown Round is similar to a game of Jeopardy where the kids have a certain amount of time to buzz in a correct answer to a problem. Forty-one DODDS students took part in the competition. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)
Eleven-year-old Christopher Egerstrom, a sixth-grade student at Spangdahlem Middle School, earned a trip to the MATHCOUNTS national competition with a second-place individual finish March 22, 2012, at the state competition for Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe and the Pacific. Forty-one middle school students from 14 schools in Europe traveled to Wiesbaden, Germany, for the event.
Eleven-year-old Christopher Egerstrom, a sixth-grade student at Spangdahlem Middle School, earned a trip to the MATHCOUNTS national competition with a second-place individual finish March 22, 2012, at the state competition for Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe and the Pacific. Forty-one middle school students from 14 schools in Europe traveled to Wiesbaden, Germany, for the event. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)
Ansbach eighth-grader Collin West, 13, gazes at a math question displayed on a screen during the Countdown Round of a math competition for middle school students March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany. The event was sponsored by the Department of Defense Dependents Schools. West took top honors during the Competition Round portion. The Competition Round is similar to Jeopardy.
Ansbach eighth-grader Collin West, 13, gazes at a math question displayed on a screen during the Countdown Round of a math competition for middle school students March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany. The event was sponsored by the Department of Defense Dependents Schools. West took top honors during the Competition Round portion. The Competition Round is similar to Jeopardy. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)
Fourteen-year-old Drew Kulas from Lakenheath Middle School works with a calculator to solve a math problem during a math competition Thursday in Wiesbaden, Germany. Middle school math wizards from 14 Department of Defense Dependents Schools gathered in Wiesbaden this week for a MATHCOUNTS competition.
Fourteen-year-old Drew Kulas from Lakenheath Middle School works with a calculator to solve a math problem during a math competition Thursday in Wiesbaden, Germany. Middle school math wizards from 14 Department of Defense Dependents Schools gathered in Wiesbaden this week for a MATHCOUNTS competition. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)
Ramstein Middle School student Ian Hokaj earned a spot in the national MATHCOUNTS competition in May with a third place finish March 22, 2012. The qualifying competition in Wiesbaden, Germany, was hosted by the Department of Defense Dependents Schools.
Ramstein Middle School student Ian Hokaj earned a spot in the national MATHCOUNTS competition in May with a third place finish March 22, 2012. The qualifying competition in Wiesbaden, Germany, was hosted by the Department of Defense Dependents Schools. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)
Anuk Dayaprema from Vicenza Middle/High School tries to work out a math problem before buzzing in his answer during a math competition March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany. Forty-one middle school students from 14 schools in DODDS-Europe took part in the MATHCOUNTS state competition.
Anuk Dayaprema from Vicenza Middle/High School tries to work out a math problem before buzzing in his answer during a math competition March 22, 2012, in Wiesbaden, Germany. Forty-one middle school students from 14 schools in DODDS-Europe took part in the MATHCOUNTS state competition. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)
Joshua Chadwick of Ramstein Middle School concentrates on a math problem during the Countdown Round of a math competition March 22, 2012. Chadwick placed fourth in the Countdown Round portion of the contest held in Wiesbaden, Germany. Chadwick placed sixth in the overall. individual competition.
Joshua Chadwick of Ramstein Middle School concentrates on a math problem during the Countdown Round of a math competition March 22, 2012. Chadwick placed fourth in the Countdown Round portion of the contest held in Wiesbaden, Germany. Chadwick placed sixth in the overall. individual competition. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)
Ansbach eighth-grader Collin West, 13, shows off his first place trophy for the Countdown Round following the Department of Defense Dependents Schools state competition for MATHCOUNTS  in Wiesbaden, Germany.
Ansbach eighth-grader Collin West, 13, shows off his first place trophy for the Countdown Round following the Department of Defense Dependents Schools state competition for MATHCOUNTS in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)
Eleven-year-old Christopher Egerstrom, a sixth-grade student at Spangdahlem Middle School, earned a trip to the MATHCOUNTS national competition in May in Orlando, Fla., with a second-place individual finish March 22, 2012, at the state competition. The event was hosted by the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe and the Pacific. Egerstrom also took sixth place in the Countdown Round portion of the competition.
Eleven-year-old Christopher Egerstrom, a sixth-grade student at Spangdahlem Middle School, earned a trip to the MATHCOUNTS national competition in May in Orlando, Fla., with a second-place individual finish March 22, 2012, at the state competition. The event was hosted by the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe and the Pacific. Egerstrom also took sixth place in the Countdown Round portion of the competition. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)

WIESBADEN, Germany — Sweating out complex math problems under the constant strain of time limits may not seem like an ideal day for most middle school students.

Not so for 41 “mathletes” gathered in Wiesbaden on Thursday for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools’ MATHCOUNTS state competition.

“It’s cool to see how many kids care about doing math and academics,” said Amber Wroten, an eighth-grader at Robinson Barracks Elementary/Middle School.

The top four individual placers at Thursday’s state competition earned the chance to compete in the MATHCOUNTS National Competition at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., where 224 students will meet in May to test their mathematical mettle.

The DODDS state competition pitted students from 14 schools in Europe as well as Seoul American Middle School and Osan Middle School in South Korea. The Pacific schools and individual contestants took their tests earlier in the week and turned in their results prior to the competition in Europe.

The afternoon’s contest was broken up into four competitions. A Sprint Round, in which participants were given 30 problems to solve in 40 minutes was followed by the Target Round, in which students could use a calculator to solve four pairs of problems within six minutes each.

It wasn’t surprising to see sweat beading on students’ brows and fingernail biting. The sound of erasers against paper was audible in the hushed room. Even the coaches were seen frequently shaking their heads in bewilderment trying to solve some of the same problems their students were working on.

“I’ll look at a problem and think I know how to do it, but then I’ll reread it and realize I don’t,” said eighth-grader Claudia Howes from Aviano, Italy.

A round in which students worked in teams was also on the agenda along with a “Jeopardy”-style Countdown Round in which they went head-to-head, with buzzers in hand, to answer math questions.

Collin West, an eighth-grader from Ansbach, who developed his own theory about square roots in the third grade, showcased his math skills during the Countdown Round. West won that event, which doesn’t count toward individual scores, by outdueling Madeline Geer from AFNORTH International School, Netherlands, in the finals.

Team scores were also kept, with Seoul American Middle School coming out on top. Rounding out the top three were Ramstein Middle School and Ankara Elementary/High School in Turkey.

The top four individual finishers, who will go on to compete at the national competition, were first-place finisher Felipe Pazos from Seoul American Middle School, followed by Spangdahlem Middle School’s Christopher Egerstrom, Ramstein Middle School’s Ian Hokaj and Jonas Knudsen from Osan Middle School.

“I’ve always liked math; competitions like this make it fun,” Christopher said. As for the national competition, the 11-year-old sixth-grader said it’s just that much sweeter that it’s being held at Disney.

“It’s pretty much icing on the cake … just a lot of icing,” Christopher said.

pattonm@estripes.osd.mil

How would you fare in the MATHCOUNTS competition? Test your math smarts with some sample problems from 2005

Migrated

stars and stripes videos


around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up