MATHCOUNTS is a national enrichment, coaching and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement through grassroots involvement in every U.S. state and territory.
For more than 30 years, MATHCOUNTS is one of the country's largest and most successful education partnerships involving volunteers, educators, industry sponsors and students. President Barack Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald W. Reagan have all recognized MATHCOUNTS in White House ceremonies. The MATHCOUNTS program has also received two White House citations as an outstanding private sector initiative. Particularly exciting for our Mathletes® were the hour-long ESPN programs on each of the National Competitions from 2003-2005. In 2011 the National Competition returned to ESPN with a live broadcast on ESPN3.
How MATHCOUNTS Works
MATHCOUNTS heightens student interest in mathematics by making math achievement as challenging, exciting and prestigious as a school sport. At the beginning of each school year, the MATHCOUNTS Foundation provides a complimentary copy of its School Handbook to every middle school across the country. Teachers and volunteers use these 300 problems and activities to coach student Mathletes®, as part of in-class instruction or as an extracurricular activity.
After several months of coaching, participating schools select students to compete individually or as part of a team in one of more than 500 written and oral competitions held nationwide and in U.S. schools overseas. The first competitions are held at the local level in February with winners progressing to state competitions in March. Results at the state level determine the top four individuals and top coach who earn the honor of representing their state or overseas team at the national finals. At all levels, MATHCOUNTS challenges students' math skills, develops their self- confidence and rewards them for their achievements.
Business and industry partners provide schools with coaches for the Mathletes® and assist in coordinating competitions. They also host local MATHCOUNTS activities, such as workshops for teachers, minority outreach programs and public awareness events to encourage participation and promote the importance of mathematics.
MATHCOUNTS also has an active alumni program encouraging past participants to continue their involvement in the program. Alumni return to the program to coach school teams, help review program materials, volunteer at competitions and serve as role models for current Mathletes®.
MATHCOUNTS participants are high achievers. According to recent surveys of past state competitors, nearly 80 percent of alumni report a combined SAT score of 1400 or above. And, the top three college majors for alumni are engineering, mathematics and computer science.