Math Counts / Science Bowl

Math Counts / Science Bowl

Regular meeting time is 7:30am right before school in the library on Tuesdays. The club website is
Contact Adam Nolte at, Tyler Brock, or Jeff Kinne at if you or your child is interested in getting more information about Math Counts / Science Bowl.

A Quick Interesting Something…

If you just want to look at something interesting, then …

Who are We?

Welcome to the website of the Math Counts / Science Bowl Club at Saint Patrick School. If the following questions sound interesting to you, you might be interested in Math Counts / Science Bowl Club…

  • If a population of ants doubles every 2 weeks, how long would it take for them to completely fill up the school?
  • Why does a three of a kind beat two pairs in poker?
  • What element is the most common in the inner core of the Earth?
  • Which kingdom(s) of life have cells with no cell nucleus?
  • What is the largest moon in the solar system?
  • How many AA batteries would you need to start a standard automobile?
  • How fast is a ball going when it hits the ground if you drop it from the top of Saint Patrick School?
  • At 10 cents per kilowatt hour, how much does it cost to charge two rechargeable batteries that each hold 1.2 KwHr?
  • If a square has perimeter 16 meters, what is its area?

Table of Contents

Who can Join?

The club is restricted to middle school students only (grades 6, 7, 8). Why? See the next section…  Note – We sometimes also allow younger siblings of our team to attend (e.g. if the younger sibling is also interested in the club).

What is Math Counts / Science Bowl?

Math Counts is a competition that is sponsored by a national organization, with a regional competition in February at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a state competition in Indianapolis, and a national competition.  Science Bowl is a competition that is sponsored by the US Department of Energy each year, with a state competition at Indiana State University in February and a national competition in Washington, D.C.  Both Math Counts and Science Bowl competitions are for middle school students only (grades 6, 7, 8), and we restrict membership in the Math Counts / Science Bowl club to middle school students as well.

The Math Counts competition is 100% math, with a range of difficulty – some very difficult problems, and some easier (but where doing them quickly is the goal).  The Math Counts competition has a component that is individual, and a component that is team-based. See the Wikipedia page on Math Counts and the links at the official Math Counts website.

The Science Bowl competition is primarily science and math trivia. Questions come from the categories of general science, physical science, life science, earth and space science, energy, and mathematics. Questions are either multiple choice or short answer. Some questions are answered by individual team members and others are answered by the team collectively. For more details on the competition, see the Wikipedia page on Science Bowl and the links at the official Science Bowl website.

The Math Counts / Science Bowl Club at Saint Patrick school exists both to prepare a team to compete at the regional competitions, and also just to have fun. Students are encouraged to come to weekly meetings even if they don’t plan to compete at the regional competition.

2016-2017 Schedule

Regional Math Counts Competition at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology: date is a Saturday in February.

Regional Science Bowl Competition at Indiana State: date is Saturday, February 25, 2017. The contest lasts from the morning through the early afternoon (roughly 8am – 3pm).

Weekly Meeting Time/Day: We normally meet at 7:30am on Tuesdays right before school in the school library. Some additional meetings may be held after before and school in the winter when the competitions are closer.

Meeting Location, Dropoff

We meet in the school library starting at 7:30am in the school library. If your child is dropped off earlier and is at before school care, please ask them to come to the library at 7:30am. We will be done each morning by 7:55am, at which time the students will go to their normal before school gathering location.

What are the Meetings Like?

We normally split the meeting up into a few different parts. Each week we break into groups to quiz each other on real questions from previous competitions. We also get together as a group at some point to discuss a “topic of the week”, which sometimes includes a hands-on activity. For example, if the topic is density we might ask each person to measure the mass and volume of a different material, and then compile the results as a group (and, perhaps, use this information to figure out what things are made of …). Another week we might study the periodic table and identify things around the room that are made of different elements. We probably will end up doing a hands on activity about every other week. Some weeks we will break into teams to do simulated competitions, and these will also happen roughly every other week.

So… Meetings consist of a mix of reviewing things the students have learned in math and science class, learning some new information they might not study in class until high school, trivia games, and of course socializing. There are two main goals to the group. The first is to have fun with science and math; the adult leaders are passionate about math and science and wish to provide an outlet for students with a similar interest. The second goal of the group is to prepare for the regional competitions.


Below is contact information for the adult leaders of Math Counts / Science Bowl.

Parents – Adam Nolte, Jeff Kinne
Teachers -Tyler Brock,  Susan McDowell

How to Join

Participating students should start by coming to one of the weekly meetings.  It is also helpful if parents send an email to one of the adult leaders (write to Jeff or Tyler) to give us a head’s up to expect your child at the meeting. There are no membership dues, and students can begin attending meetings at any time.

Help Out or Check Us Out

If you’re interested in helping out in any way, please do be in touch. Parents/gaurdians are welcome to come to meetings any time – whether that is to help out, or just to see what we’re up to.

Study/Review Resources

The following are the most important links for studying and learning new material.

The following are more links to look for more information.

And, it is also a good idea to have the kinds of books that Mrs. McDowell has in the cabinet in her science classroom. Read anything that is interesting to you; this will help you in school (now and later) and will help prepare for the science bowl competition.

And the following are fun videos, etc. having to do with science.