CMS students to solve math problems at Mesa State

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Craig Middle School will represent the community Saturday during the annual MATHCOUNTS competition at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

The 15-team field will consist of middle school (seventh- and eighth-grade students) from Grand Junction and neighboring communities. It is sponsored by the Ute Chapter Professional Engineers of Colorado and Mesa State College. The engineer organization has been hosting the competition for 17 years.

According to Susan Spencer at Craig Middle School, the competition is designed to stimulate students' interest in mathematics. It is also intended to improve math instruction and curriculum and increase the awareness and importance of math.

Craig Middle School Principal Steve Wiersma believes the program helps make better-rounded students.

"It is great any time extracurricular activities are combined with the regular curriculum," Wiersma said. "We are taking the classroom into the extracurricular environment."

Students will compete in written and oral matches in subjects from basic arithmetic skills to math logic, probability and statistics, linear algebra and polynomials. The special topic for the 1999-2000 competition is "Investigation and Exploration," which is a problem-solving method.

Nancy Macleay is the coach of the team at Craig Middle School.

Winners of the competition at Mesa State will advance to the state competition in March at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. State competition winners will travel to the national competition in May in Washington, D.C.

Competition begins at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Liff Auditorium in the W.W. Campbell College Center at Mesa State College with the awards ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m.

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