Mathcounts was started in 1982 by the National Society of Professional, Engineers, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and CAN Foundation as a competitive environment to increase middle school interest in mathematics. The first national-level competition in the modern format was held in 1984. Union has participated in the Mathcounts competitons every year since 1982. Former Dysart resident and UMS teacher Mr. Norm Cooper started the program here. Since 1997 Mr. Mike Schmidt has carried on the tradition of Mathcounts at UMS. These teams have advanced to the state competition 9 times since 1997. In 2007 Union finished 5thin Iowa, and in 2009 they were 4thin the state! In 2010, UMS student Drake Mossman qualified for the National Competition now help in Orlando Florida at Disney World.
Each of the past 6 years Union has completed all of the requirements to be a Gold Level Mathcounts school. This year Union was one of only 2 in Iowa and 150 in the United States to earn Gold Level status. When a school achieves Gold Level status, their school is placed in a drawing to win an all-expense paid trip to the National Mathcounts competition at the Swan Hotel at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Union was the winner of that trip this year!! Teacher and Mathcounts team coach Mike Schmidt and 4 team members will be traveling to Disney World May 8-11, 2014! The 4 students who earned this trip by finishing in the top 4 are Lauren Harrigan, Payton Hellman, Daniel Johanningmeier, and Emily Schmidt. It is a great honor to earn Gold Level status, and this year it really paid off with a trip to the National competition!!