BIG RAPIDS — More than 100 local middle school students will put their math skills to the test at the annual Woodbridge N. Ferris Mathcounts Competition on Friday, Feb. 22.

This all-day event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in the Interdisciplinary Resource Center at Ferris State University and will feature a variety of challenges for the students competing.

Following preliminary testing in the morning, the top 10 students will compete in a “Jeopardy!”-style round of questions starting at approximately 12:45 p.m. During this round, two competitors from the top 10 will face off at a time to answer questions until a winner remains.

Six schools are participating this year, including St. Peters Lutheran School, with new coach Kevin McBride; McBain Middle School, with coach Pat Maloney; Reed City Middle School, coached by Jeremy DeVos; St. Mary’s Catholic School, with JB Watters coaching; Big Rapids Middle School, with coach Lane Blatchford; and Crossroads Charter Academy, coached by Paulette Warczinsky.

The Mathcounts coaches said the students have been preparing for the event for several months.

“It’s certainly a mathematical challenge. It helps them think things out and helps them practice basic functions at a quick pace,” McBride said.

Warczinsky said the annual event is a good opportunity for the students involved to learn and have fun.

“It helps the students realize there are lots of things math can be used for,” she said. “It’s a great experience to be with other students who think math is cool.”

All first-, second- and third-place winners will be awarded trophies and all participants in the competition will be presented certificates. There also will be a custom T-shirt, lunch and other prizes provided to students, coaches and volunteers involved.

Members of the winning team and top individuals will progress to the state Mathcounts competition on Saturday, March 10, at the General Motors Tech Center in Warren.

The local event is sponsored by the Big Rapids chapter of the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers with financial support from the Ferris State College of Engineering Technology and Cargill.

National sponsors of Mathcounts include Raytheon Company, Northrop Grumman Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense, National Society of Professional Engineers, CNA Foundation, ConocoPhillips, Texas Instruments Incorporated, 3M Foundation, Art of Problem Solving and NextThought.

Mathcounts was founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and CNA Foundation.

For more information, visit, or call the regional coordinator, Chuck Drake, at (231) 250-5949.