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Arnold STEM supports the MathCounts® competition at UTSI

Alex Dixon, pictured right, receiving his first place individual award from AEDC Commander Col. Scott Cain, for the skills he displayed during the MathCounts® Competition held Feb. 2 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute. The MathCounts® Competition is sponsored by the Tullahoma Chapter of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers. (Courtesy photo)

Alex Dixon, pictured right, receiving his first place individual award from AEDC Commander Col. Scott Cain, for the skills he displayed during the MathCounts® Competition held Feb. 2 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute. The MathCounts® Competition is sponsored by the Tullahoma Chapter of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers. (Courtesy photo)

Jackson Banks, pictured right, receiving his second place individual award from the MathCounts® Regional Competition from AEDC Commander Col. Scott Cain. The MathCounts® Competition, held Feb. 2 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, is sponsored by the Tullahoma Chapter of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers. (Courtesy photo)

Jackson Banks, pictured right, receiving his second place individual award from the MathCounts® Regional Competition from AEDC Commander Col. Scott Cain. The MathCounts® Competition, held Feb. 2 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, is sponsored by the Tullahoma Chapter of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers. (Courtesy photo)

Zane Hopf, pictured right, receiving his third place individual award from the MathCounts® Regional Competition from AEDC Commander Col. Scott Cain. The MathCounts® Competition, held Feb. 2 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, is sponsored by the Tullahoma Chapter of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers. (Courtesy photo)

Zane Hopf, pictured right, receiving his third place individual award from the MathCounts® Regional Competition from AEDC Commander Col. Scott Cain. The MathCounts® Competition, held Feb. 2 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, is sponsored by the Tullahoma Chapter of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers. (Courtesy photo)

The team taking first place in the 2019 MathCounts® Regional Competition, held Feb. 2 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, was East Middle School. Pictured here with AEDC Commander Col. Scott Cain, second from left, are Kevin Barker, Jackson Banks, Zane Hopf, Olivia Thomasson and Trent Stout, team coach. (Courtesy photo)

The team taking first place in the 2019 MathCounts® Regional Competition, held Feb. 2 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, was East Middle School. Pictured here with AEDC Commander Col. Scott Cain, second from left, are Kevin Barker, Jackson Banks, Zane Hopf, Olivia Thomasson and Trent Stout, team coach. (Courtesy photo)

After the results of the Regional MathCounts® Competition held Feb. 2 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, this group will be heading to the state-level MathCounts Competition. Pictured with AEDC Commander Col. Scott Cain, center, are Kevin Barker, Jackson Banks, Zane Hopf, Olivia Thomasson, Rex Askren, Carter Sublette, Nolan LaRue and Alex Dixon. (Courtesy photo)

After the results of the Regional MathCounts® Competition held Feb. 2 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, this group will be heading to the state-level MathCounts Competition. Pictured with AEDC Commander Col. Scott Cain, center, are Kevin Barker, Jackson Banks, Zane Hopf, Olivia Thomasson, Rex Askren, Carter Sublette, Nolan LaRue and Alex Dixon. (Courtesy photo)

Arnold AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- The Arnold Air Force Base Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Outreach Program supported the local MathCounts® Competition held Feb. 2 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute.

The competition, which challenges area middle school students to solve math problems, is only one of many engineering activities that led up to the 2019 National Engineers Week, Feb. 17-23. The event is sponsored by the Tullahoma Chapter of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers.

Students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades from counties across southern middle Tennessee participated in the competition. Students from the following schools competed in the 2019 event: East Middle School, West Middle School, The Webb School and Highland Rim School.

This year’s winners of the MathCounts Competition received their awards from AEDC Commander Col. Scott Cain.

The 2019 MathCounts winners were: Alex Dixon, Highland Rim School, receiving first place individual; Jackson Banks, East Middle School, receiving second place individual; and Zane Hopf, East Middle School, receiving third place individual. The first place team was East Middle School, consisting of Kevin Barker, Jackson Banks, Zane Hopf, Olivia Thomasson and Trent Stout, team coach. Top scorers, who will also be representing Tullahoma Region at the state level, along with those on the East Middle team, are: Rex Askren, West Middle School; Alex Dixon, Highland Rim School; Nolan LaRue, East Middle School; and Carter Sublette, The Webb School.

The winners from this competition are combined into a team that will compete at the state level and possibly at the national level.

Of this year’s event, Olga Oakley, Arnold Air Force STEM Outreach Program coordinator, commented that she is always happy to see students enjoying Math and STEM activities.

“The students really put their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to the test,” she said. “My favorite part of the MathCounts competition was overhearing all the students discuss what approach they used to solve answers on the test and how they came up with their answers. Even when the competition was over, they were still collaborating and working as teams to help one another to get the correct answer.”

Though the 2019 MathCounts Competition was a success, this one was also bittersweet, as it was the last competition for longtime STEM volunteer Harry Clark.

“Harry Clark has been an essential attribute to the MathCounts competition,” Oakley said. “We are incredibly grateful for his dedication and all his hard work to motivate students in the STEM field for many years.”