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Ellis MathCounts team third in region

William Ellis Middle School’s MathCounts team placed third in the recent regional MathCounts competition at Wake Forest University. Nearly 150 of the top middle school students from six counties in northwest North Carolina competed in the annual event.

The team’s performance qualified it for the state competition at the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics in Durham.

William Ellis had 10 students. Dylan Hanes, Aaron Morris, Kelly Reichard, and Stuart Robinson competed as the school team and as individuals, while Grace Butler, Taha Guver, Dylan Lane, Lila Moore, Lanna Robinson, and Logan Tronsen competed as individuals.

The top student for the school was Dylan Hanes, who placed 11th individually.

The team, coached by William Ellis math teacher Steve Rareshide, began practicing weekly after school in October, and several times weekly after school in January and February.

MathCounts is a nation-wide program designed to improve mathematical problem solving skills among middle school students, who are at a crucial stage in developing and sustaining math interest and ability.

As one of the longest-running STEM programs for middle school students in the nation, MathCounts encourages student interest in mathematics through written and oral challenges. Topics include algebra, geometry, number theory, patterns, and probability.

In North Carolina, MathCounts is sponsored by the Professional Engineers of N.C., which organizes the event for public and private middle schools. The top teams from the regional events advance to the state competition, and the state winners participate in the national finals.

A sample problem from this year’s contest: “If five playing cards are randomly selected from a standard 52-card deck, without replacement, what is the probability that they are all the same suit?” Answer: 0.00198.)