Why Math Counts
This week, I’m delighted to share some thoughts from Mr. Satish Tiwari, our dedicated Mathcounts sponsor who has helped so many of our students pursue their passion for mathematics over the last nine years. Mathcounts Club allows interested students to dive into the world of competitive mathematics – and gain some valuable lessons in problem-solving, teamwork, and character.
After school, if you walk down the main corridor of the middle school, don’t be surprised if you hear noises emanating from a classroom. As you get closer, students’ voices get louder – almost as if they are arguing. Open the door and you will see a room exploding with energy: groups of students surround the white boards, passionately debating. Suddenly, a student runs out into the corridor and exclaims, “Eureka! I did it!” This student has just spent 20 minutes battling a math problem — a problem which is expected to take only two minutes to solve in the State Mathcounts Competition. But the victory is still so sweet!
Mathcounts is a national math coaching and competition program “designed to increase enthusiasm and enhance achievement in middle school mathematics.” In Texas, more than 275 schools and close to 2,000 kids participate in regional and state competitions each year.
For the past two years, TVS has been the only independent school ranked in the top ten in the state Mathcounts competition – placing fifth in 2015 and sixth in 2016. Over the last seven years of regional and state tournaments, TVS mathletes have earned $220,000 in college scholarships, which is a state record.
But we are not just proud of their scholastic achievements: The Chairman of the State Mathcounts Committee recently remarked that TVS mathletes are some of the most well-behaved, respectful, and well-rounded students he has come across.
His comments did not surprise me because Mathcounts isn’t just about numbers. At TVS, the Mathcounts Club focuses on four goals:
- We build character, discipline, and respect for others
- We learn advanced math concepts
- We acquire complex problem solving strategies
- We use teamwork to approach problem solving
Recently, a Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter asked some of our mathletes about what students gain from participating in Mathcounts Club. Here’s a small sampling of what they shared:
- you learn to become a good listener and a good team player;
- you discover that anyone can come up with good ideas;
- you learn about the importance of having good character and discipline;
- you make lasting friendships in Mathcounts Club while having fun solving problems together;
- you are not afraid of math anymore.
I started my journey with Mathcounts nine years ago, when my son was in sixth grade. He and some of his friends were excited about math and eager to take on new challenges. I volunteered to sponsor the club – and I have watched in awe as our students have grown in both skills and enthusiasm, pushing each other to reach greater heights and celebrating each other’s successes.
And the momentum continues to grow: This year more than 30 students joined the Mathcounts Club! So don’t be surprised if you hear more shouts of glee coming from the Mathcounts classroom as students discover what they are capable of accomplishing.