Year 8 House teams pitted their wits against each other in QE’s very own Maths Circus.
Inspired by the UK Mathematics Trust’s Maths Challenge events, the circus includes a number of rounds that involve both mathematical problem-solving and practical challenges.
Each team was supervised by a Year 12 or 13 Further Mathematics A-level student, while sixth-formers also helped with the logistics of running the overall event.
Assistant Head of Mathematics Wendy Fung said: “Now in its second year, the Year 8 Maths Circus follows on from the Year 7 Maths Fair, with the idea being to show boys that mathematical problems come in many different formats, as well as to help them to develop team-working skills.
“The event could not have been run without the help of the sixth-formers and it was a great opportunity for the older boys to interact with Year 8: the Maths department is always grateful for the support they provide so cheerfully and reliably.”
The morning of activities first involved a carousel of activities such as Crossnumber (a mathematical version of a crossword) and Origami. All teams then took part in the Relay, for which they had to combine speed of movement around the room with speed in solving a mathematical problem.
The overall winners of the Maths Circus were Pearce with 569 points, beating second-placed Harrisons’ by just one point. Third place went to Broughton, on 549. Pearce were later presented with their certificate and the Robinson-Leong Shield in assembly. The shield is named after Oliver Robinson (a 2018 leaver) and current Year 13 pupil Samuel Leong, who both donated prizes they had won through the Jack Petchey Foundation to the Mathematics department.
In a related challenge, all six Houses were also required to construct a hanging mobile. There were teams within each House, all of which were required to create part of the mobile, having been asked to prepare in advance by coordinating the different sections so that their mobile would encompass their ideas about the many facets of Mathematics.
The prize for best mobile went to Leicester. This was also presented in assembly.
Afterwards, pairs of boys from the winning Year 8 teams were asked to sum up their feelings. Maxwell Johnson and Sthujan Jeyasingarajah said: “We are proud to have led Pearce to victory this year. We owe it to the exceptional effort made by everyone.” For Leicester, Divyesh Bansal and Aarav Thakur said: ‘We really enjoyed the entire day and it was a great opportunity to do Maths whilst also being creative and fun. It was the best!”