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CONTRIBUTED Northwest-Shoals Community College students place second overall at the State Math Competition. Pictured, from left, are team members Chance Hunt of Florence, Nick Richardson of Killen, Josh Pinkard of Russellville and Hunter Bales of Haleyville.

Russellville student vies in state math competition

Calculus isn’t always an area of study in which people excel, but for some it just makes sense. That’s the case with Josh Pinkard from Russellville. Pinkard, along with three teammates, competed in the Alabama Mathematical Association math tournament Oct. 7 held at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa.

Pinkard and the rest of the team are all calculus students at Northwest, which was just one of the seven colleges represented at the tournament.

“I wasn’t nervous,” Pinkard said. “I’ve participated in College Bowl and Scholars Bowl, so I knew kind of what to expect.”

The tournament was divided into two parts: an individual calculus test and a team competition. NW-SCC placed third in the team competition and second overall. The overall scores were determined by a combination of the competitors’ individual scores and their team scores.

“They told us on the individual test that if you scored 20 out of 40, then you were doing good, and I scored 15, so I feel pretty good about it,” Pinkard said.

Teammate Chance Hunt, of Florence, placed third in the individual test out of 28 students.

Pinkard said the individual test was a 40-question, multiple choice test based on Calculus I, II and III. He said the team competition consisted of 10 questions that they had 10 minutes each to answer.

“The individual test wasn’t terrible, but the team questions were ridiculously hard,” Pinkard said.

Currently in his second year at NW-SCC, Pinkard has already taken Calculus I, II and II, among other math courses.

“It’s just always made sense to me, and I enjoy it,” he said.

Pinkard said he plans on attending the University of Alabama in Huntsville and pursuing a degree in computer engineering. He has already been accepted and received the Super Scholar Transfer Scholarship.

“Originally, I was going to major in business administration, but then I realized I could do more and decided to push myself,” he said.

He graduated from Russellville High School in 2016, and he said he made the decision to attend NW-SCC because he felt he could receive just as good of an education there as he would have starting out at a four-year university.

“I was able to get really involved on campus, and I think it made me grow as a student and a leader,” he said.

At NW-SCC Pinkard has been involved in student government, the ambassador program, College Bowl and Phi Theta Kappa. He said he plans on continuing his involvement with student government at UAH because he enjoys getting to know the administration and getting the chance to make the college a better place.

Pinkard said his ultimate goal after college is to work at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville.

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