Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200
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Middle School MATHCOUNTS Team Excels In Regional Competition

The Middle School of Plainville's MATHCOUNTS Team recently participated in the Hartford Region MATHCOUNTS Competition where many MSP students earned personal best scores, according to team advisor and Middle School Music Teacher, Todd Helming. Helming has coordinated the Middle School's MATHCOUNTS program for the past several years.

As part of the regional competition, which included 25 school districts from Connecticut, students participated in multiple rounds with math problems that challenge even the most advanced math students in the country. MATHCOUNTS is a national program sponsored by engineering firms including UTC, Lockheed Martin, and NASA. Students around the country prepare for and participate in yearly competitions. This year, after the competition, students were treated to a lecture about life in Space presented by an engineer from Hamilton Standard. The lecture focused on how math plays a key role in everything NASA does.

The MSP MATHCOUNTS Team is comprised of nine sixth and seventh grade students who were invited to participate in the program based on teacher recommendations and interest in the program. The group meets every third day of school for approximately 40 minutes.

The Middle School MATHCOUNTS Team is now working diligently on a special project at MSP. Their goal is to develop a scaled floor plan of the middle school stage in order to design and eventually create an acoustical shell custom designed for the MSP auditorium. This project involves measurements accurate to 1/16 of an inch, using CAD software to lay out the current structure, and using complex math strategies to create a shell that will correctly direct sound waves from the stage into the audience. The project allows students to apply the knowledge they have learned in the MATHCOUNTS program to a real life situation, creating something that will benefit both the middle school and the Plainville community for years to come. "The students are excited to be engaged in a project that will allow them to apply and use their knowledge. The fact that they will be helping the school and community is just icing on the cake. Students learn best when they have opportunities to apply and use their knowledge, so while this is a "fun" project, the educational experiences and opportunities it will provide will be outstanding," said Helming.

"Mr. Helming's effort with the MATHCOUNTS Team is one of the impressive ways that our MSP staff takes the initiative to provide opportunities that enrich and extend our students' learning opportunities. Mr. Helming and the students should be very proud of their efforts," noted Middle School of Plainville Principal, Matthew Guarino.

-Posted on March 8, 2010 at 03:03 PM


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