February 25, 2013 –

Ten architects and engineers from Bancroft’s Illinois design studios converged on the Lake County Community College over the weekend for the annual Illinois MathCounts competition.  MathCounts is a national competition and coaching program dedicated to expanding students’ understanding of and enthusiasm for the study of mathematics.  Bancroft professionals volunteered in a variety of roles over the day-long regional event held on Saturday, February 16.  The state-wide final are to be held in March in advance of the national finals later in the spring.

“I can tell you why it’s important for us to be involved in this kind of event,” said Bancroft principal William Hartzell, and industrial engineer with nearly 30 years of engineering experience managing technically diverse and complex projects.  “Our employees know we really can’t complain about outsourcing–be it manufacturing or intellectual services–if we’re not willing to do our part to ensure the needs can be met domestically.  We’re here doing our part to see that America continues to develop the finest engineering talent in the world.

“Bancroft employees are encouraged to find ways to contribute to their communities, and when one of us really believes in a cause, most of the time a lot of us will then get together to support it.”

This weekend’s regional MathCounts competition was heralded as a tremendous success, with students participating both as individuals and as teams representing junior high and elementary schools from all over northern Illinois.  “Every year MathCounts gets better, with more participants and higher skills than I ever thought possible for students who are so young, said Ken Endress, the volunteer coordinator who acted on behalf of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME).  “For Bancroft to have ten employees step up, volunteering in support of the MathCounts mission, is really special.”

Among those who volunteered from the Bancroft staff was architect Kristin Richardson.  Richardson, who recently served as the Project Architect for a $30 million renovation of the research Laboratories at the Feinberg School of Medicine said,  “It is encouraging to me to see increasing numbers of young women participating in the MathCounts competition.  Too often this is unnecessarily thought of as a field for men, and that really undermines the intellectual firepower of women.”

This year’s state MathCounts finals will be held March 9 in Lisle Illinois.  The national finals are in Washington, DC on May 10th.  Illinois students have finished in the top three consistently in the national competitions.