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MBMS Mathletes Win Top Prize at Regional Competition

Feb 24, 2020 10:30PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

The winning MBMS math team of Rose Cohen, Kate Kligys, Daniel Greenberg, and William Chen, with coach Aaron Cohen

Four Manhattan Beach MIddle School "mathletes" took the top prize last weekend at the regional MathCounts competition held at Northrop Grumman.

The MBMS team calculated their way to first place out of 22 teams. They will move on to the state competition at the end of March in Riverside.

Representing MBMS on the winning team were Rose Cohen, Kate Kligys, Daniel Greenberg, and William Chen - all in seventh grade. Additionally, Chen came in 2nd place overall.

Besides the official team of four students, six additional students represented MBMS as individuals: Stelle Allen, Enzo Ames, Miles Campbell, Matthew Chang, Audrey Henry, and William Kiely. 

"Even though these [six additional] students were not eligible for the team awards, they completed the team round and their score would have placed them eighth in the competition," noted MBMS Math Club coach and parent Aaron Cohen. 

MathCounts is a national middle school competition open to sixth through eighth grade students. Students complete two individual rounds and one team round. The team score is calculated using the scores from all three rounds. Topics covered include subjects that advanced students might see throughout middle school including algebra, geometry, combinatorics, and number theory.

The MathCounts competition takes place in four phases. In the school competition (held at MBMS in December), students competed against members of their own school. In the chapter competition (held last weekend), top students from schools from around the area competed against each other. The top performing teams and students in the chapter competition will now advance to the state competition in Riverside.  Finally, the best students in each state will compete in the Nationals in May.

To be successful, according to Cohen, students need knowledge of the material, speed, creativity, and team work. 

The MBMS Math Club meets every Tuesday after school, with about 40 students attending each session. The math club has been focusing on preparing the students for the MathCounts competition since the beginning of the year. 

"The goal of the math club is to nurture the kids’ love of math," said co-coach and parent Dina Mayzlin. "We do a number of competitions, including Math Counts, but we also do challenging math problems just for fun. We view competitions as a way to motivate and expose kids to enrichment math."

Mayzlin noted that all MBUSD elementary school have math enrichment clubs as well. The program is supported by MBUSD and the MBX Foundation.

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