In this STEM-focused era when schools, companies, and legislators are falling all over themselves to promote the study of science, technology, engineering, and math, it's truly surprising that more people are not aware of the national Math Bee known as MATHCOUNTS. The MATHCOUNTS competition is sponsored by the Raytheon Corporation and organized by a foundation of people including the National Society of Professional Engineers and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Like the national spelling bee, MATHCOUNTS is open to middle school students who compete in regional and state tournaments for the chance to compete at the national level.
The competitors known as "mathletes" compete in individual and team written rounds with the goal of "making the stage" for the lightening fast Countdown Round, where the top mathletes answer complex math questions on algebra, geometry, probability, and statistics, and they must solve them in forty-five seconds or less. The mad math skills of these kids is truly extraordinary, and the head-to-head matches are nothing short of breathtaking in their intensity.
Check out these highlights from the Countdown Round: