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. Students in Dysart have participated in Mathcounts competitions every year since 1982, when former Dysart resident and teacher Mr. Norm Cooper, started the program six years prior to the Dysart-La Porte City merger into the Union Community School District. Since 1997, Mr. Mike Schmidt has carried on the tradition of Mathcounts at Union Middle School. Over the past 16 years, UMS teams have advanced to the state competition a total of nine times. In 2007, the Union team place 5th in the state of Iowa. Two years later, returned to State, placing 4th overall. In 2010, Union 8th grader, Drake Mossman, qualified as an individual to participate in the National Competition.
In each of the past six years, Union has completed all of the requirements to be recognized as a Gold Level Mathcounts school, the highest level of achievement possible in the program. This year, Union was one of only two schools in Iowa and 150 in the United States to achieve Gold Level status. This accomplishment qualified the school for a drawing, which they won, for an all-expense paid trip to Orlando, Florida, site of the National MATHCOUNTS Competition. Teacher and Mathcounts team coach Mike Schmidt will be joined by the top four students on the team- Lauren Harrigan, Payton Hellman, Daniel Johanningmeier, and Emily Schmidt for a trip to Disney World May 8-11, 2014, where they will attend the National Competition.