Students from Osceola, Mecosta counties compete in mathematics competition

Reed City takes home multiple awards

BIG RAPIDS — When someone walks into a room full of kids, it’s not usually quiet. For those who took time to visit the Mathcounts event in a room full of students, the only sound that could be heard were pencils scribbling down answers.

On Wednesday, Feb. 25. around 105 students from eight different middle schools, including Big Rapids, Marion, Morley Stanwood, Reed City, Crossroads, McBain, St. Peters Lutheran and St. Mary’s Catholic participated in Woodridge Ferris Mathcounts, a competition focused on all things math at the Ferris State University Center. The theme this year was titled, “Making Math Fun.”

“There is a difference between what kids learn in school and what they learn outside of it,” said JB Watters, principal of St. Mary’s Catholic School and Mathcounts coach. “At the competition they are applying what they learn in school and taking it to the next level.”

For the competition, Watters has been preparing his students by going over the booklet each school was given with practice questions inside.

“It’s our job as coaches to encourage their work,” Watters said. “It’s absolutely beneficial for them because they are learning how to work in a team and solve problems. It shows that maybe they aren’t the smartest kids in the world, but also shows that it’s OK to be as smart as they are.”

One team represented each school, and most schools had individual students who competed, but were not on a team.

With the help of coordinators, coaches and volunteers, the competition began at 9:20 a.m. and went through many different events, including a countdown round, where 10 of the highest-ranking competitors went one on one with each other.

The BRMS team took first place, RCMS took second and St. Mary's Catholic came in third. Reed City also snagged the most improved team, and student Steven Shewan took third place in the CountDown round. Progressing onto the state competition includes the BRMS team, Arie Gentry of McBain, Stephen Shewan of Reed City and Joe Wendlowsky of CCA. The event will take place on Saturday, March 14, at the General Motors Tech Center in Warren.