Culbertson to advance to state MATHCOUNTS competition

Mikaela Koski
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Courtesy photo
            Sean Culbertson with Dr. Tien Chih from the MSU-B Mathematics Department.

Courtesy photo

The CMS MATHCOUNTS team. Back row, from the left: Mark Ranstrom, MaKenzie Shiels, Elizabeth Brewer, Sean Culbertson, Mason Adams, Beau Huncovsky, and Lindsey Cross.  Front row, from the left: Tessa Rager, Nancy Scarbro, Jetta Briggs, Ethan Johnson, and Cody Ruprecht.

Columbus eighth grader Sean Culbertson has proven he can stand up to the best math students in the eastern part of the state, so now his mission is to show he is one of the top students in the entire state.

Culbertson recently placed 15th at the Billings MATHCOUNTS competition held on the campus of MSU-B. He was up against 147 other middle school students – the highest turnout ever for Billings MATHCOUNTS.

Ten Columbus Middle School students competed in this year’s MATHCOUNTS contest. They each had to take three tests, and a final ranking was then determined based on the results.

The question topics varied throughout the competition. During the “sprint round,” students were given 30 math problems that they had to complete in 30 minutes. The “target round” saw students tackle a total of eight questions; four times they were given six minutes to complete a set of two questions. Classmates got to work together during the “team round,” as they worked to answer 10 questions in 30 minutes.

The state MATHCOUNTS competition will be held March 15 in Butte, on the Montana Tech campus.

The top-four finishers at the state level will travel to the national MATHCOUNTS competition in Orlando, Fla., the third week in May.


The MATHCOUNTS Foundation is a non-profit organization that reaches middle schoolers across the country with three math programs – the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series, the National Math Club, and the Math Video Challenge.

“Our approach is simple: we make learning math fun,” the organization’s website explains. “We believe middle school is a critical juncture when a love of math must be encouraged, and a fear of math must be overcome. Our programs build problem solving skills and positive attitudes about math, so students embrace challenges and expand their academic and career opportunities in the future.”

Some supporters of MATH-COUNTS include: 3M, Texas Instruments, the National Society of Professional Engineers, Phillips 66, and the U.S. Department of Defense.