LEC students test math skills

What is the 2004th odd integer?

It took Nick Lindsey about three seconds to come up with 4007.

It is not exactly a difficult math question, but Lindsey, a seventh-grade Beaty student, had to know the underlying science to come up with the answer in a short period of time.

The MATHCOUNTS competition takes place each year at the Warren County School District’s Learning Enrichment Center, and is a qualifying round for competition that continues through the state level.

The students’ math teacher, Kellie Blasco, kept the students on track for the contests.

On Thursday, Brandon Eschborn, an 11-grade Warren Area High School student, moderated the one-on-one Countdown competitions between sixth- through eighth-grade finalists. Eschborn is a four-time MATHCOUNTS champion who went on to state-level competition.

There were three levels of math contests to qualify for the final Countdown Round, which then started with the student in tenth place facing off with ninth place. In order for number ten to win, he or she would have to win ten rounds in a row.

Because the students were given only 35 seconds to answer with a ten-second warning, they had to think on their feet – and the questions rarely allowed time to work out an answer in writing.

Questions included “What is the maximum number of leap years in a 30-year period?” (five) and “what is the least prime factor of seven to the fourth minus seven to the third?” (two).

Lindsey answered the question “What fraction represents the answer to four-fifths to the negative second” incorrectly by responding “One and nine-sixteenths,” which is a mixed number rather than a fraction. The correct answer was 25/16, which ironically equals one and nine-sixteenths. So even though Lindsey’s answer was wrong, he was mathematically correct.

From Eisenhower, Trenten Dippold, Aidan Farrell, Josef Bauer, Brodie VanOrd will compete as a team at the Chapter Level competition at Gannon University in Erie on Feb. 8.

The top team in the region will qualify for the state level MATHCOUNTS competition in the Harrisburg area in March.

“This is a very talented group of seventh graders led by VanOrd, an eighth grader, as captain. Aidan placed highest at the chapter event last year, 20th, and hopes to be in the top four this year so he can compete as an individual at states,” said Blasco.

For the individual rounds, she added, “Aidan Farrell won the morning rounds but Nick Lindsey beat him in the countdown round.”