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National Maths Challenge finalists

National Maths Challenge finalists

Monday, May 9, 2016

AT the end of March a joint TS/TPS group of four pupils took part in the Regional Finals of the Team Mathematical Challenge, run by the UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) and came second out of the 30 schools that entered. We were delighted to hear this week that we were one of the highest ‘second place’ scores in the country and have consequently been invited to take part in the National Finals in Westminster on the 20th June. Another congratulations to George, Kelly, Kit and Skyla for doing so well.

The UKMT has been running this Team Competition since 2003 and last year’s event was very enthusiastically received by over 600,000 pupils from 4,000 schools who took part in the three individual challenges. The competition combines mathematical, communication and teamwork skills and offers pupils another way to express and develop their enjoyment of Mathematics.

The Maths Challenge is tough and requires quick thinking, great team work and is perfect for pupils to show their independent learning skills. There is a Group Round where teams work to solve ten questions of varying type and difficulty in the time allowed. Each team must decide their own strategy: whether to work in pairs, individually or as a team.

Round Two is the Crossnumber challenge - similar to a crossword but with numerical answers. Teams work in pairs; one pair has the across clues and the other pair has the down clues. The pairs work independently to complete the grid using logic and deduction.

Round Three is called ‘Shuttle’. Teams compete against the clock to correctly answer a series of four questions. Question 1 can be solved independently of the others, but the answer to each subsequent question is dependent on the previous answer, so accuracy is vital.

Next comes the Relay round, with teams split off into pairs, who take it in turns to solve problems. This round involves lots of movement as well as mathematics!

For the National Final the Taunton School team will need to complete a Poster Competition too. Teams are sent information in advance about a topic for research and investigation. At the Final, teams make a poster incorporating materials that they have prepared while also addressing related questions given out on the day. Topics in previous years have included mathematical billiards and colouring.