Two Poplarville Middle students move to state math competition

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Two students from Poplarville Middle School will compete at the state level of the MATHCOUNTS competition after successfully qualifying in the regional competition held Feb. 16, at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Eighth graders Ashton Farrell and Jaidyn Durning will now compete in Madison on March 24. The venue has yet to be decided, said Claire Gennin, math chair and 8th grade math teacher for the Poplarville School District.

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MATHCOUNTS is a national competitive program for middle schoolers that promotes mathematical achievement by organizing competitions.

Each school in the District has a math club sponsored under the program and each year 10 students from 6-8th grades compete.

This year, 108 students from 13 schools across the Mississippi Gulf Coast competed.

Gennin and 8th grade math teacher Landon Tynes accompanied the students to the event.

The first round at the competition is called the sprint round where each participant is required to solve 30 mathematical equations.

Upon completion of the sprint round, students progress to the target round where they are required to solve eight lengthy word and data-based problems.

In the subsequent team round, four students from each school compete against other teams to quickly and accurately solve problems.

At the end of the three rounds, the top ten students from the entire competition are chosen based on individual scores to compete in the countdown round, Gennin said.

Farrell and Durning, earned 4th and 5th place respectively and if they win the state championship they will go on to nationals.

“I am thrilled. It’s awesome to take the day and go spend time with children who love math,” Gennin said. “It’s probably the most refreshing day of the school year.”

Gennin is confident both local qualifiers will perform well at the state competition.

Eight participants from Poplarville Middle School went to the regional competition, including Gabrel Vaughan, Ahmad Harmon, Braxton Conerly, Anya Lopez, Laynee Rodgers, Seth McMurray, Summer Hunt, and Trenton Forrester.