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      Middle school students participate in annual Math Counts Competition

      Middle School Students from across Southeast Iowa put their thinking caps on for the annual Math Counts Competition.

      Students met inside the Indian Hills Community College's Rural Health Building for the event. Five middle schools including Evans Middle School students participated. Keokuk Middle School cancelled due to the weather. The competition is sponsored by the National Society of Engineers and the Iowa Engineering Society.

      â??The whole emphasis with science, technology, engineering and math, we want kids, especially females interested in it as early as possible,â?? John Meyer, President of French-Reneker Associates, said. â??I know we have a real challenge with the technical professions. I know our company is trying to hire an engineer right now, and it's been a challenge. Weâ??ve been looking for a long time.â??

      The Math Counts competition started a little after 9 a.m. The first round was the sprint round where students solved problems without a calculator. Next was a target round where students could use a calculator. Thatâ??s followed by the team round made up of four students. The final round was the count down round where students only had 45 seconds to solve a problem. The top three individuals and top two schools go onto the state competition.