National Competition Adventures
Team Minnesota finds 2019 National Competition Creates Wonderful Memories
Led by three-time national Coach Meg Schlukebier, Team Minnesota’s trip to the national MATHCOUNTS competition was one for the memory books. It included an unanticipated first class flight to Orlando Saturday (May 11), expeditions to Disney Springs, the development of a team cheer, challenging math and a tour of the Kennedy Space Center.
In fact, this year’s Kennedy Center tour had special significance – it took place 50 years after the first moon landing. Organizers said the 2019 National Competition “…commemorated the moonshot achievements of yesterday by celebrating the moonshot thinkers of tomorrow”.
If Saturday was a relaxing day, Sunday was not. The Sprint, Target and Team Rounds all took place Sunday morning. Two-time national team member Linden Li reported that the 2019 problems were much harder than those he faced in 2018. When the three-part competition ended Sunday, Team Minnesota took off for Kennedy Space Center.
Oh the places they went…
Shown at Kennedy Space Center, from left: Henry Zheng, Coach Meg, Andrew Zhang and Aurora Wang.
The Countdown Round Monday May 13 found the nation’s top 12 mathletes going head to head, competing for top honors, a $20,000 college scholarship and a trip to National Space Camp! (We think the coaches should have a shot at Space Camp, by the way.)
…the memories they made…
“Entering the great hall for the Countdown Round never gets old,” writes Coach Meg.
“It sends chills down my spine every time. The team chose Henry to hold our Minnesota banner for the entrance. As soon as we heard “Minnesota!!” announced, Henry ran in, holding our banner high, and the rest of us followed.” Daniel Mai, an eighth grader from Massachusetts won the Countdown Round with his answer to this question: “What is the quotient of 5040 divided by the product of its unique prime factors?” He gave the correct answer, 24, in just 22.53 seconds. Above, shown at the National MATHCOUNTS Banquet, from left: Coach Meg Schlukebier, Linden Li, Andrew Zhang, Henry Zheng and Aurora Wang.
…and the cards they played!
Playing cards isn’t a bad way to hone your understanding of probabilities, as Team Minnesota demonstrated in Orlando. From left, Aurora Wang, Linden Li, Andrew Zhang and Henry Zheng.
The Minnesota MATHCOUNTS Steering Committee and staff want to thank you for making the 2019 MATHCOUNTS Season possible. Teachers and coaches, parents and volunteer engineers, engineering firms, foundations and corporate funders — you made Minnesota MATHCOUNTS work for more than 2,000 middle school mathletes this year!