What is the 48th positive odd integer? If 95 didn’t jump to mind, you wouldn’t have made it far in Thurston County’s MATHCOUNTS competition this year.
It took just seconds for local mathletes from Jefferson Middle School to answer that and other challenging questions to win the county-wide contest held last month and advance to the state level. The event was 1 of 500 throughout the country.
MATHCOUNTS is a national middle school competitive mathematics program. It promotes math achievement through a series of fun and engaging “bee” style competitions on the chapter, state, and national levels.
Jason Bruhn, an engineer at SCJ Alliance in Lacey, led the Thurston County contest held at Saint Martin’s University and has volunteered as the chapter coordinator for the past 20 years on behalf of the National Society of Professional Engineers. This year he recruited SCJ colleague Dan Phillips to help out.
“I loved math as a kid,” shares Jason. “I want to give back by supporting kids who have the same interest.” By hosting the competition in the Olympia area, more local students can participate. “Seattle is just too far for many of them to go,” he says.
Local participants in February’s Thurston County competition came from Jefferson, Aspire, Tenino, and Ocosta middle schools and included two homeschool students. The top team, from Jefferson Middle School, and four top individuals advanced to the state competition. Winners at the state competition move on nationals.
SCJ is a 100% employee-owned firm specializing in civil engineering and site development, transportation planning and design, environmental and urban planning, landscape architecture, public outreach, and cable-propelled transit. The company has been nationally recognized numerous times for growth, award-winning projects, and as a great place to work. Employees across eight offices work collaboratively with public and private sector clients to anticipate emerging needs and priorities, envision projects that enhance communities, and create designs that bring their vision to life.
Pictured: Winning MATHCOUNTS Team: Thurston County’s 2020 winning MATHCOUNTS team from Jefferson Middle School. From left: Saravanan Velu (Head Coach), Srivikaat Ravi, Shravya Gupta, Harshini V Saravanan, Vindhya Adamala, Ravi Somasundaram (Assistant Coach).