Emmett Shell, 11, of Montville, earned a berth on the Maine Mathcounts team by placing fourth of 49 middle school students in the state competition on March 26 in Fairfield. The top four finishers at that event comprise the Maine state team that will compete for the national title in Washington, D.C. in May against 220 other “mathletes” from the 50 states, U.S. territories, and State Department and Department of Defense schools.

The other members of the Maine team are from schools in Kennebunk, Bangor and Mount Desert Island. Shell qualified for the state competition by winning the regional Mathcounts tournament in February. At this earlier event, he topped more than 70 students from a dozen middle schools in central Maine.

Shell, a student at Cornerspring Montessori School in Belfast, practices with Troy Howard Middle School Math Team coached by Glen Widmer and Jacquie Kahn.

Widmer says, “Emmett demonstrates outstanding mathematical ability to solve complex problems. His standout performance at the regional and state competitions is a remarkable achievement for a sixth-grader as the state team is generally filled with seventh- and eighth-grade students.”

The mission of the national Mathcounts program is to secure America’s global competitiveness by inspiring excellence, confidence and curiosity in United States middle school students through fun and challenging math programs. Its goal is to provide students with the foundation for success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. Pres. Barack Obama and former presidents, George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald W. Reagan have all recognized Mathcounts students in White House ceremonies.

Leadership for the program is provided primarily by the National Society of Professional Engineers at the local and state levels.

For more information about Mathcounts, including sample problems, see https://mathcounts.org.