LA PLATA, Md. – A team from Milton M. Somers Middle School advances to the state MathCounts competition next month after finishing among the top three teams at the regional event held Feb. 3. The state event is set for March 17 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

The competition consists of four rounds in which students compete and earn points both as team members and individuals. In the sprint round, students individually complete a 30-question test. In the target round, students have four sets of math problems and have six minutes to complete each set. During the team round, students receive 20 minutes to complete 10 questions as a team. The final round is a Jeopardy-style countdown round in which the top 12 students compete against each other.

The Somers team earned third place overall among competing teams from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. Team members are eighth graders Emma Vanden Berg and Taylor Peterson, and sixth graders William Alcorn and Rachel Chernoff. Somers math teacher Jennifer Rowland is the team coach.

Seven other Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students qualified to advance to the state tournament based on their individual performance. They are Jackson Bowler, seventh grade, Somers; Sam Chernoff, eighth grade, Somers; Jordyn Davis, seventh grade, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School; Jack Goodwin, eighth grade, Somers; Rico Harley, eighth grade, Somers; Steven McPhee, seventh grade, Piccowaxen Middle School; and Zoe Wheeler, sixth grade, Theodore G. Davis Middle School.

MathCounts is one of the country’s largest educational partnerships involving volunteers, educators, industry sponsors and students. The regional competition is sponsored by the three Southern Maryland public school systems and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc., with support from the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Volunteers from SMECO help score the tests. The top four individual competitors from each state competition receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the national competition held annually in May. For more information about MathCounts, visit