Math competition broadens association’s reach while having fun

Outreach program cultivates future professionals

Engineering is an old industry that requires professionals who pay attention to detail and know their math. As part of our work with the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers, our government relations and association management teams work together to bring an exciting and dynamic program into middle schools throughout the state.

The MATHCOUNTS® Competition Program strives to engage middle school students of all ability and interest levels in fun, challenging math programs in order to expand their academic and professional opportunities. As a founding and national sponsor, the National Society of Professional Engineers has helped provide the program to middle school teachers and their students for over 30 years.

We love the program for all the reasons our clients do. It mixes education with fun. It reaches out to students in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. And it brings together engineers, teachers and middle school students in order to build math skills, promote logical thinking and sharpen analytical skills. It’s pretty cool to see engineers volunteering at the competitions as well as how many elected officials like to join in at the local and regional level. No doubt, there are future engineers in their midst making memories and creating a future for themselves.

For our part, MATHCOUNTS® brings together all of Wanner Associates’ talent and skill to make the competition run smoothly and ensure everyone’s needs are met as the program builds from the local level to the national competition. Our year-round effort includes some 2400 students throughout the state and crescendos in March when the statewide competition is held in Harrisburg. There, over 150 students compete to represent Pennsylvania in the final championship, which takes place in Washington, D.C.

To make it all happen, our government affairs team works with the state’s Department of Education and General Assembly to secure funding to run the competition. Without the Commonwealth support, the Engineers Foundation could not pay for even the direct out of pocket costs associated with MATHCOUNTS®.

On the association management side, our professionals work with the Society to recruit engineer volunteers to help run the rounds at the competition and our meeting organizers make sure that everything from the venue, registration, and materials are all in place the day of the statewide event. We also manage media outreach and assist in the many newsletter articles, social media posts and other news stories that appear about the program throughout the year.

“This program is very unique,” says Jennifer Summers who is the Society’s association management professional at Wanner. “It goes way beyond the nuts and bolts of traditional association management but that is also what everyone likes about it – from our clients, to the students, parents, teachers and even the public officials who enjoy being part of the competition. There is just something about seeing these kids who are excited about math, their teachers who go above and beyond to help their kids, the parents who support the kids and teachers, and the volunteers who come back year after year. I am the one who feels lucky to be part of it all.”

Find out more about MATHCOUNTS® and the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers, which through education, licensure advocacy, leadership training, multi-disciplinary networking, and outreach enhances the image of its members and their ability to ethically and professionally practice engineering.

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