By Kristen Miller
DASSEL-COKATO, MN Nine Dassel-Cokato Middle School students in grades six through eight participated in the Lake Region Chapter’s MATHCOUNTS competition Feb. 8 and received fourth overall.
MATHCOUNTS is a math enrichment and competition program for middle school students and is coordinated by the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers in an effort to stimulate student interest in math achievement.
Students participating in the competition, which took place at St. Cloud State University, included; Corey Siltala (eighth grade), Matthew Dahlseng (eighth grade), Nathan Weckwerth (sixth grade), Tylor Sullivan (eighth grade), Erin Aho (eighth grade), Carli Kirchoff (eighth grade), McKenzie Ebert (seventh grade), and David Howell (seventh grade).
There were 108 students from 13 different schools from around the area competing.
Dassel-Cokato placed fourth overall in the team competition, but placed first among the Class A schools, in which eight teams competed.
Weckwerth ranked second during the individual competition and advanced to the state competition March 25-26 at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth. He also received third place in the countdown competition, in which the top 16 students participated.
Sullivan placed 16th and Siltala placed 18th in the individual competition.
Last year, Weckwerth was in math league, but this year was the first time he competed in a math competition.
Weckwerth really likes math because it’s fun, he said. He also likes the excitement of solving a math problem that is particularly difficult or challenging, he added.
Though he is really good at math (Weckwerth is in sixth grade advanced math) he also received first placed in the middle school’s spelling bee last month.
Both Weckwerth and fellow MATHCOUNTS teammate, Corey Siltala advanced to the regional spelling bee, where they competed against 21 students at St. John’s University.
Weckwerth was down to 10 spellers left, and Siltala got down to where there were only four spellers remaining.