Chimacum students seeks Internet votes for contest

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

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CHIMACUM — Four Chimacum Middle School students are only a few votes from getting into the MathCounts Reel Math Challenge semifinals, with just a few hours remaining until the 3 p.m. Thursday deadline for voting on the Internet.

The 20 teams that make the semifinals will be notified by March 15.

The team of sixth-grade students — Esther Perrott, Renee Woods, Kaitlyn Ejde and Erin Crouch — was in 21st place Tuesday afternoon, only 14 votes behind the 20th-place video, in the national contest for middle school students to create a video that illustrates a real-world math problem.

The team was in 19th place Feb. 4.

“They’re losing a bit of ground, unfortunately,” their adviser and math teacher, Deborah Berreth, said Tuesday.

But they could still make up the difference — and have a chance for a $1,000 college scholarship for each team member — if enough people vote at

Their video, “Fundraiser in a Cup,” features the four students’ use of math to figure out the price of a custom coffee-bean blend to sell as a fundraiser and how much to charge to make enough of a profit from those beans to create a meaningful fundraising effort.

The four students have been active in getting their fellow students, parents and neighbors to vote, but the immediate Chimacum community is too small to compete against schools from more populous areas, Berreth said.

“It’s difficult being in a small area,” she said.

At this point, she said, they need some regional help from their North Olympic Peninsula neighbors to overcome the final hurdle and make the semifinals.

Four finalists will be selected by MathCounts judges March 28.

Judges will make their decisions based on the quality of the video and the students’ clarity in explaining the math concept.

If the video is one of the four selected by judges, the students, with Berreth, will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the May 9 MathCounts finals in Washington, D.C., on May 9.

There, the top four videos will be judged by 224 students competing in the MathCounts National Competition, which is not part of the Reel Math Challenge.

All student members of teams that reach the finals of the Reel Math Challenge will receive Droid DNA smartphones.

Each of the four members of the team that created the winning video will receive a $1,000 college scholarship — educational funds very much needed for many of the students in the district, Berreth said.

“They’re looking for any scholarship opportunity,” she said.

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at

Last modified: February 26. 2013 6:12PM
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