Duluth Seniors Are Taking Part In A $5,000 Nationwide Math Scholarship

By KBJR News 1

October 25, 2011 Updated Oct 25, 2011 at 3:51 PM CDT

Duluth, MN - (Northland's News Center) - A nationwide math scholarship competition has made its way to Duluth high schools for the first time.

It's a different kind of scholarship...instead of writing essays...student's are managing a business.

"I try to maximize my profits everyday for each individual product," says Harbor City International School Senior, Zane Grey.

The Labovitz School of Business and Economics at UMD and Maurice's have joined forces to bring the DemandTec Retail Challenge to the Northland.

"Math scores have been low in the area and I think by developing programs like this with the university really gives them an upper edge," says Maurices Marketing Manager, Monica Hendrickson.

21 teams...each made up of two high school seniors, across Duluth are taking part in the challenge.

The goal is to present math, science and business concepts creatively through an online simulation.

"Each day we look to see how much we sold, how much inventory. It's kind of logical thinking about how much we should buy or not buy," says Harbor City International School Senior, Dani McDonald.

"Everyday you adjust it and you're just kind of trying to find the right price and how much stud to order," Harbor City International School Senior, Kate Thoennes.

The challenge will give students a taste of how retailers and consumer product manufacturers make pricing, promotion and inventory selection decisions.

"If something is selling really, really well, like I'm selling a thousand products per day, I'll know to bring up the price more. But if something isn't selling very well at all, I'll bring down the price," Grey says.

The winning Northland team will receive at five-thousand dollar scholarship from Maurice's and will move on to compete in the semifinals for additional scholarships.

"What we're hoping is that it demonstrates a very real world application of math skills, so if you have a student who is interested in math, this really demonstrates a career path in business for people with good math skills," says Director - UMD Retail Marketing Analytics Program, Sara Pitterle.

The top five teams in the semifinals will advance to the Grand Championships in New York City where they will compete and also get a chance to ring the NASDAQ Stock Market closing bell.

Posted to the web by Danyel Piecek.