Original thinking leads to second place for QE boys in national Mathematics challenge

Original thinking leads to second place for QE boys in national Mathematics challenge

A team of Year 9 QE mathematicians have come second in the final of a national competition that attracted entries from more than 150 teams from across the UK.

The team, named Perpetual Motion Squad, was one of three QE teams among the 13 who reached the final of the Edge Hill University Mathematics Challenge, which was held at Ormskirk in West Lancashire. Six QE teams had previously qualified for the second round of the competition.

The boys were accompanied to the final by Mathematics teachers Joelle Simpson and Michael Smith. “They had a very early start but used the journey to good effect to put the finishing touches to their presentation,” said Mrs Simpson. “All the boys did exceptionally well to reach the final. The judges were particularly impressed with the Perpetual Motion Squad, as the team had come up with a solution to the problem which had not been previously considered.”

Team members Abishek Balajee, Joshua Bonafe, Siddhant Kansal, Manav Khindri and Filip Olszewski spoke afterwards of their pride in securing the runners-up spot.

The competition provides pupils with an opportunity to tackle engaging mathematical activities while developing teamwork and communication skills. Participants also had to think about ways of integrating ICT within Mathematics and to develop problem-solving skills.

In the two qualifying rounds, the boys had to produce posters showing solutions to a given problems. Round 1 offered a choice between a problem involving factors and another involving calculation. The second round gave a choice between a geometry problem and a speed/distance problem.

At the final, teams had to present their solution to a panel of three judges. Each team had 15 minutes to display their poster and make their presentation.

In their discussions with the finalists, competition judges were looking for evidence of:

  • Clear and accurate solutions
  • Good display of mathematical and problem-solving skills
  • Critical comparison of alternative approaches
  • Original and imaginative presentation of the solutions
  • Evidence of teamwork and communication between team members
  • Evidence of the use of ICT.

Team πr NOT2 comprised Athiyan Chandramohan, Nirmay Jadhav, Ansh Jaiswal, Jay Patel and Thilakshan Thayalan, who said they had developed their teamwork, organisation and communication skills throughout the competition.

Beuran Kannan, Heshanth Mogendram, Arvind Raghu, Vineeth Rajan and Dharun Srirathan made up Team Mathsala. In their feedback, they said they found the project fun as it consisted of geometry, CAD design and programming which was very interesting for all of them.