Easy as pi? QE team work together to put in perfect performance at Maths Feast

Easy as pi? QE team work together to put in perfect performance at Maths Feast

Four Year 10 boys won every round when they took on other regional schools in the Maths Feast competition.

After being selected to represent the School in the event, the four emerged with a perfect score of 121 out of 121.

Mathematics teacher Kirtan Shah said: “This was the first time I’ve seen full marks in every round of the Maths Feast competition since I started working here in 2018. So they did really, really well: definitely something to be proud of!

“They worked so well together as a team; by building on each other’s arguments, they were able to successfully reach sensible solutions to some challenging problems. They knew what each member’s strengths were and that really helped them gain their clean sweep.”

Hadi Al-Esia, Kovid Gothi, Saim Khan and Shreyaas Sandeep travelled to St Dominic’s Sixth Form College in Harrow on the Hill for the competition run by Advanced Mathematics Support Programme – a Government-funded national initiative.

They faced four rounds: team captain Hadi said each involved “intriguing puzzles that stretched our knowledge and problem-solving skills”.

The rounds were as follows:

  1. What No Words? All teams were given a series of problems to solve, with the catch that they were only given diagrams. Not only did they have to work out the answer; they first had to work out what the question was!
  2. Four for Forty: Students were given four long problems, including logic puzzles, which all required outside-the-box problem-solving, including logic puzzles. “They were able to deftly negotiate this round by each member of the team taking the problem which suited their strengths the most,” said Mr Shah.
  3. Card Sort: Competitors had to reimagine every 3D shape (such as cubes) to try to unravel the shortest way to pass through or over them. “This was by far the most challenging round for the team to tackle as it involved a new dimension of geometry for them – a combination of Pythagoras and 3D visualisation,” Mr Shah added. “They finished the round with less than 20 seconds to spare.” The team’s favourite problem came from this round (see picture right): competitors were asked to calculate the distance from A to B if the net [what a 3D shape looks like if opened out flat] were open for the cone.Saim said: I particularly enjoyed the card sort round – trying to reimagine and visualise the shapes in a new way was challenging but immensely rewarding too!”
  4. Four in a Row: A relay round, with teams splitting into two pairs to solve two separate sets of questions. “Our boys were able to comfortably finish the round, with eight minutes to spare,” said Mr Shah.

Hadi said: “I’m proud of our teamwork and the dedication we showed on the day,” while his teammate Saim added: “The Maths Feast was a fantastic opportunity; the problem-solving and lateral thinking the rounds called for was a refreshing invigorating experience.”