MathRocks! is our signature contest series program.

This series is for students in grades 1-12, regardless of school they attend or if they are homeschooled.

MathRocks! rounds are written in-house. This allows us the flexibility of running them in-person for area students with an online option for students who meet one of the required criteria.  All participants will participate at the same time, whether in-person or online unless a special accommodation has been granted (this accommodation will be the exception and not easily obtained).

The 2023-24 MathRocks! season has concluded. Year end awards for this series will be announced at our annual End of Year Awards Banquet.

Tentative dates for the 2024-25 MathRocks! season are listed below. Pricing for the upcoming season has not been determined.

Contest Structure:

Each in-person contest level will have 5 rounds; online participate in 4 rounds

  • No calculators allowed.
  • Rounds descriptions:
    • Number Sense – 80 questions, 10 minutes – This is a mental math round.  Computational and conversion problems should be expected. No scratch paper allowed. Students are NOT expected to answer all problems.
    • Sprint – 20 questions, 30 minutes – Word problems.
    • Focus – 5 problems, 15 minutes – Word problems that require more work than Sprint problems.
    • Explain – 1 problem, 10 minutes (this is an experimental round and may change or be removed) – Students are required to explain their thinking.  Students are not required to think in a specific way, but their explanation must be logical and complete to receive full points. 
    • Team – in-person participants ONLY – 10 questions, 20 minutes (teams are composed of 3 to 4 students) – Word problems that teammates may work on together or independently as the team prefers.  One answer sheet per team is submitted.
    • All rounds are free response (meaning no multiple choice).

MathRocks! is written for grades 1-12.  Kindergartners are welcome to participate with grade 1 (please consider their ability to read when having them participate).

  • Level 1 – grades 1 & 2
  • Level 2 – grades 3 – 5
  • Level 3 – grades 6 – 8
  • Level 4 – high school


  • Any eligible student who will be physically in the Reno/Sparks, Nevada area the day of the contest, regardless of state or country they normally reside; AND,
  • Did not miss school on Friday before the contest due to illness (students who were out ill may participate online IF parents notify NNVMath on Friday before 1pm).
  • Are not displaying symptoms of illness – testing positive for covid is NOT the bar! If you are fighting a cold, flu, etc., you need to participate online. Students who look sick or display symptoms and not 100% confident is a allergy related will be sent home.
  • Student is not in quarantine at the time of the contest.

NOTE: students who are registered for the Series and regularly participate online may participate
in-person by providing at least 1-week notice.


  • Any student in grades 1-12 who resides in Nevada but lives more than 1 hour from Reno/Sparks (kindergartners may test up to 1st grade), or
  • Any students who resides in a rural area in the US and does NOT have access to math contests within a reasonable traveling distance otherwise, or
  • Students with medical issues: this includes students going through medical treatments that prevent them from being in public, mobility issues, etc., or
  • Students who miss school the day before a contest due to illness may participate online as they will NOT be allowed to participate in-person, or
  • Students who develop illness symptoms prior to the start of the contest, or
  • Students regularly in-person but who are in quarantine for the date of the contest, or
  • Students/families needing a special consideration or accommodation. 

NOTE: Verification of the above reason provided will be required.  Our goal is simply to confirm that student participating online qualify to participate online.


Contests rounds start at 10 AM for all participants on the following dates, whether in-person or online* and online. Online participants will NOT have an extended testing window.

  • September 21, 2020
  • October 19, 2024
  • November 16, 2024
  • January 25, 2025
  • February 22, 2025
  • March 29, 2025

Check in begins at 9:15.

*Online families with multiple students participating and limited devices should contact to determine possible accommodation.


Our MathRocks! contests are hosted by the College of Engineering at the University of Nevada – Reno (UNR). Check-in takes place in the Davidson Math & Science Center, located in the southeast corner of campus. When you arrive go to the auditorium on the first floor (DMS 101). Check-in begins at 9:20.

PARKING: UNR does not enforce permit or metered parking on weekends. They DO enforce anything that says 24/7, maintenance vehicle spots, emergency lanes, handicapped parking, etc.


Pricing for the 2024-25 season has not been determined.


Individual Contest Date Awards:

  • Monthly contest awards will be announced and presented during an award ceremony at the following MathRocks! contest.  This gap in time allows us to deal with any scoring issues and ensure results are correct without making participants and parents wait for an unknown amount of time on each contest day.
  • Individual rounds: Ribbons will be given to the top performers in each grade. Grades may be combined when there isn’t enough registrations to support separate awards (common with grades 11 & 12).
  • Team rounds: Ribbon will be given to each member of the top performing teams in each division.

Accumulative Season Awards:
Accumulative Season Awards will be presented at our annual Year End Awards Dinner on May 18th. 
Individuals: Trophies will be given to the top performers in each grade. Grades may be combined when there aren’t enough registrations to support separate awards (common with grades 11 & 12).


Registration for all contests are through  If your school is not listed in the school drop down, email with your school name and city/state where it is located.


All participants need to complete and submit a waiver prior to participating. Completed waivers can be emailed to with a subject of “waiver” or may be presented at check-in. Only 1 waiver is required for all programs between 6/1/2023 and 5/31/2024.

Thank you to our MathRocks! sponsor: