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February 16, 2007

Young 'Mathletes' count on tough competition at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Approximately 80 sixth- through eighth-grade students from area schools will compete as "mathletes" on Saturday (Feb. 17) at Purdue University.

Purdue's College of Science and College of Engineering will co-sponsor this year's MATHCOUNTS regional competition, which will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in Stewart Center, Room 302. The final round will begin at 1 p.m. in the Class of 1950 Lecture Hall and will conclude with an awards ceremony at approximately 2 p.m. The afternoon event is free and open to the public.

MATHCOUNTS is a national nonprofit enrichment, coaching and competition program that promotes mathematics competency and achievement.

"MATHCOUNTS is a great opportunity to see students engaged in an exciting and challenging mathematics competition," said Bill Walker, director of Purdue's College of Science K-12 outreach and co-director of the Purdue MATHCOUNTS regional competition. "The most exciting parts of the competition include the Team Round where students must work together to solve challenging problems and the Countdown Round where participants compete head-to-head and are eliminated until a champion is determined."

After several months of coaching, participating schools select students to compete as part of a four-member team in one of the more than 500 regional competitions held nationwide. Students also have the option of competing as individuals to reach the state finals and become a member of the Indiana team for the national competition. 

Winners at the regional level proceed to state competitions where the top four "mathletes" and top coach earn the right to represent their state or territory at the national level.

"At all levels, MATHCOUNTS challenges students' math skills, develops their self-confidence and rewards them for their achievements," said Vincent Drnevich, a professor of civil engineering and co-director for the Purdue MATHCOUNTS regional competition.

Purdue is the host of 12 schools for the 2007 regional competition.

"This is the largest participation we have had," Drnevich said. "It is great to see so many schools and students getting involved in an academic event that emphasizes math concepts, problem solving skills and teamwork."

Participating schools include:

* Central Middle School, Columbus.

* East Tipp Middle School, Lafayette.

* Klondike Middle School, West Lafayette.

* Lebanon Middle School, Lebanon.

* Saint Elmo Academy, Whitestown.

* Saint James Lutheran School, Lafayette.

* Southwestern Middle School, Lafayette.

* Sunnyside Middle School, Lafayette.

* Tecumseh Middle School, Lafayette.

* Tuttle Middle School, Crawfordsville.

* West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School, West Lafayette.

* Zionsville Middle School, Zionsville.

Purdue's College of Engineering and College of Science, and the A.A. Potter Chapter of the Indiana Society Professional Engineers sponsored and organized this event.

For more information about MATHCOUNTS contact Drnevich at, (765) 494-5029, or Walker at, (765) 494-5890.

Writer: Elizabeth Gardner, (765) 494-2081,

Sources: Bill Walker, (765) 494-5890, 

Vincent Drnevich, (765) 494-5029,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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