JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY - Jacob Brooks is a problem solver, a great addition to a team. He attended the 27th annual Southeastern Regional Mathematics Competition along with 115 other students from 22 schools in Eastern North Carolina.
"You meet a lot of new people, new approaches on how to solve problems, and just make friends," said Brooks, a sophomore at Swansboro High School.
Middle and high school-aged students met at Coastal Carolina Community College Thursday morning for testing in Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. Students also teamed up with a few others from different schools for a five-question "sprint" round -- no calculators allowed.
It's a good feeling for students like Meaunique Pollock, a freshman at Southwest High School in Onslow County, to solve problems with percentages, fractions and variables with ease.
"It makes me feel accomplished, that I can do better challenges, and that if I work hard, and it'll work out," Pollock said.
Teachers chose their students to participate based on classroom performance. Erin Walsh, Jacob's former Algebra II teacher, says math is useful in everyday life.
"It's more of the problem solving skills that are going to be important in life and be able to organize and see what's important in a situation to solve problems -- that could be applicable in any situation," Walsh said.
Jacob says he hopes to use his math skills to become an engineer.
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