On March 25, a team of seven Harker students coached by middle school math teacher Vandana Kadam participated in the California State MathCounts competition held at the University of Pacific in Stockton. The competition included 166 top-performing students from the various chapter MathCounts competitions in Northern California. Harker’s team – Sylvia Chen, Shamik Khowala, Jonathan Li and Heather Wang, all grade 8 – did exceptionally well, placing third. Independent grade 7 competitors Vihaan Gupta, Aarav Mann and Andrew Shi also performed well.
In addition, Chen placed sixth and Gupta placed ninth in the individual competition, where every point differential made a significant difference in the rank.
Chen and Gupta also reached the finals of the Countdown Round, a rapid-fire oral buzzer round where students get 45 seconds to solve problems. Chen won by being the first to answer three out five questions correctly. The top sixteen performers (from the group of 166 mathletes) are invited to participate in this round. This is the first time in Harker’s MathCounts history that two Harker students have participated in the final round of the Countdown competition.