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Captain Everett Norton Applied Mathematical Concepts Competition

2011 Contest Information & Rules

West Virginia Science: Wild and Wonderful

The Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation, Inc. and the West Virginia High Technology Consortium (WVHTC) Foundation are proud to sponsor the 2010 - 2011 Captain Everett Norton Applied Mathematical Concepts Competition, a statewide competition that encourages high school juniors and seniors to think outside the box. This contest challenges high school students to investigate and utilize math and technology to solve real-world problems and create innovative projects with some of the newest technology tools available.

This year’s Captain Everett Norton Applied Mathematical Concepts Competition centers on the theme, “West Virginia Science: Wild and Wonderful.” Participants in the contest will use Scilab, a freely-available scientific programming language and software package. Using Scilab, participants will develop a science application that is particularly relevant to some aspect of West Virginia, including its natural resources, key industries, or regional issues. Winning applications will demonstrate a depth of well-documented research, complexity of skill, original code, designs, implementation, and creativity. Participants are encouraged to be resourceful, innovative, and imaginative and may submit a wide range of Scilab-based applications.

All aspects of the competition will be conducted online. Applicants will submit their Scilab application along with instructions for its execution, plus any additional data required for a verification test. Source code for the application must also be submitted; the code will be judged for its engineering quality and informative documentation. Whereas a traditional science fair would require a presentation poster to accompany a project submission, this competition requires students to adopt the modern business practice of making presentations via telephone conference calling accompanied by electronic media (e.g., a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation or an interactive web site). The presentation must describe the Scilab application, reasoning behind the application, difficulties encountered during its development, known limitations and suggested future enhancements or research direction.

Prize Information

First, second, and third place prizes will be given. The winner of this contest will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a state-of-the-art computer. The second place winner will receive a cash prize of $750, while the third place winner will receive $500. In order to encourage student participation and teacher promotion, the first place winner’s high school technology department or supporting teacher will receive a $1,000 award. Prizes will be awarded, and winners will be recognized at a formal event in the Spring.


  • Participants must be West Virginia juniors or seniors in high school. Students must submit an entry form to the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation which is to be postmarked by Monday, January 10, 2011, indicating their participation in the competition. This form will provide the Foundation with important contact information to keep all competitors updated on any changes that occur or other important information.
  • Students may work in teams. Important Notice: Although a group of students may choose to work together, it should be noted that there is still only one prize for first, second and third place. Students who work in groups will have to figure out how to split the prize fairly. The Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation, Inc. and the WVHTC Foundation will not be responsible for determining how the award is split. Submitted applications must be executable by the judges. No credit will be awarded for code that cannot be executed by the judges, regardless of the project's other merits. Students may receive outside help on the project, but all sources of aid must be listed in the final project presentation. This includes parents, teachers, community members, friends, online resources, books, etc. Failure to list sources will result in disqualification. All projects must be completed by February 25, 2011. Hardcopies of the presentation should be postmarked by that date. Students will be contacted by the Mollohan Foundation to be scheduled for presentations the week of March 28, 2011.

Judging Criteria

  • Clear, succinct communication, both in prose and in code, will be highly valued throughout all phases of the judging. Project presentations should be sufficiently self-explanatory to allow the judges to become familiar with the project before the oral presentation (via conference call). However, the oral presentation should augment the slide presentation. Do not “read the slides.” As mentioned in the rules, submitted applications must be executable by the judges. No credit will be awarded for code that cannot be executed by the judges, regardless of the project's other merits. Applications that feature creativity, imagination, and a demonstration of research and skill will be favored over those that do not.
  • Readable, well-documented code will be valued. However, excessive comments will be penalized. The combination of code, comments and supporting documentation should explain the workings of the code sufficiently to allow a software engineer who is unfamiliar with the project to “take over” the project, ideally without further input by the project's author. Judges will ask questions during the oral presentation to ascertain the depth of knowledge possessed by the applicant on Scilab, and the domain of their application. Projects will be judged on the degree to which the project brings out the theme, “West Virginia Science: Wild and Wonderful.”


Frequently Asked Questions

Who should participate?

Any West Virginia junior or senior high school student interested in math, software engineering, and/or computer science should participate.

Is there a cost to participate in the contest?

No. There is no cost to download the tools needed as a participant in the Captain Everett Norton Applied Mathematical Concepts Competition.

How do I get started?

Students interested in competing in this contest should submit an entry form and declare their official entrance in the competition no later than January 10, 2011. Entry forms are attached to this contest information, available online at www.mollohanfoundation.org, and with your math/science teacher. Forms can be emailed, faxed or mailed. Contact information for the Mollohan Foundation is available on the website as well as on the application.

What if I need help?

At any time during the contest if you have questions or need assistance, please contact Aime Shaffer at (304) 333-6783. If you are sending an email, be sure to put NORTON CONTEST in the subject line.


Once the entry form has been received by the Mollohan Foundation, participants will be contacted by email. Once this confirmation email is received, students are encouraged to download the Scilab software and begin designing their application.