This year, BYU hosted an official Math Counts competition. Several schools in the district brought teams. The competition was open to 6-8 graders. We also saw teams there from Provo district and Alpine district as well. There were 75 kids that competed on Saturday Feb 5th. The first round is called the sprint round. It was an individual test with no calculator allowed, 30 problems in 40 minutes. The next round was two problems at a time for a few minutes. Then you would get the next two problems for a limited time until you have seen a total of 8 problems. They call this the target round. Next our kids moved on to the team round. The kids were able to work together in teams of 4. They have ten problems to solve in twenty mins.
If you score in the top 16% of the competitors, then you get to move on to the countdown round. After the first three rounds of testing our kiddos got a lovely lunch and then the top 12 kids were announced. We did have a few kids from the district make it into the top twelve, but none of the students from Spanish Fork Junior did. For our entire team, this was their first time competing at the BYU math competition. We had students that are a year ahead in math, some that are in honors, and three that are in grade level math. It's inspiring to see how they all work together and have fun attacking math problems that challenge them.
They do a great job of recognizing that each one has something to contribute and valuing their input. We meet weekly to discuss math ideas and learn more about number theory. Students solve problems, explain to one another, and watch videos about math extras. This week we watched one about the fundamental theorem of arithmetic and the distribution of prime numbers. We have talked about changing numbers to different bases, a proof that there is an infinite number of prime numbers. the Euclidean Algorithm and so much more.