Thursday, February 15, 2018
  Awards and Recognitions, Community

By Letty Fernandez

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Edinburg, Texas More than 100 middle school students from across the Rio Grande Valley competed Friday Feb. 9, in MathCounts at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Edinburg Campus.

Designed to excite and challenge middle school students, the MathCounts program offers four levels of competition featuring both a rigorous written competition and a fast-paced oral competition. This national program provides students the opportunity to compete in live, in-person contests against and alongside their peers.

“It amazes me how fast and great these students are when it comes to solving the problems,” said Milton Hernandez, UTRGV program coordinator. “A problem that might take a normal individual 10 to 15 minutes to work out, these students can do it in seconds. We wish them the best of luck as they compete at the state competition.”

Advancing to the state competition in Austin on March 23-24 with the opportunity to advance to the national competition are:

  • Abdiel Garcia, Harmony School of Innovation, Brownsville.
  • Alex Gonzalez, Kenneth White Jr High School, Mission.
  • Ethan Mowers, Coakley Middle School, Harlingen.
  • And teams representing Sharyland North Junior High and B.L. Gray Junior High.

MathCounts is one of three events UTRGV is hosting in February that are geared toward STEM – science, technology engineering and mathematics – education and career awareness.

UTRGV hosted the Rio Grande Valley Regional Science and Engineering Fair on Feb. 3. About 700 middle and high school students from across South Texas competed in 17 different science-related fields of study for the opportunity to advance to state and international competitions.

In addition, UTRGV on Feb. 17 will host the Regional Science Bowl, a fast-paced question-and-answer tournament designed to test students’ knowledge in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, earth science and general science. The Bowl will be held on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus, with 200 students representing middle and high schools from South Texas in competition. The first-place team will advance to the National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C., in late April.

Sharyland North Junior High
The team representing Sharyland North Junior High will advance to the state MathCounts competition. From left are Velinda Reyes, UTRGV assistant vice president for Community Relations and Operations; Angel Rafael Lopez, Jordan Salinas, Allyson Knobel, Coach Veronica Gonzalez, and Tyler Moss. Second row from left are Lee Jones, AEP community affairs manager and president of the local Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE), and Ramiro Gutierrez, treasurer for TSPE.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.