Here’s a Maths problem to get you warmed up for this story. More later…
It has been a big couple of weeks for the Maths Department, with several extra-curricular competitions happening. These give the students a chance to do some fun, challenging maths different to what they would see in lessons.
Individual Maths Challenge
On 6 November we had over fifty students take part in the maths challenge, a 90-minute multiple choice paper designed to get the students to apply the maths knowledge they have acquired in entirely new ways (see a question below). We are very proud to say that our Sixth Form students achieved six Golds, along with a pile of Silver and Bronzes. Students from d’Overbroeck’s International School also took part, achieving 2 Golds, 4 Silvers and 5 Bronzes – a fantastic result as this was a challenge aimed at sixth formers. All those who achieved a gold will be going through to the next round which takes place on 30 November, including three taking the Olympiad, the hardest paper on offer – best of luck to them!
Nowadays computers are solving more and more problems, but utilising them to their full potential often requires a logical, mathematical process. The Bebras challenge is a version of the maths challenge done entirely on computers but not requiring any coding or programming knowledge. It looks to test that particular form of thinking so necessary for computers which we rarely get to dive into in Maths. Sixteen students took part in this challenge last Wednesday. We are still awaiting results but have our fingers crossed.
Team Maths Challenge
Very often Maths is seen as an activity done alone, presumably in dimly lit rooms, but the Team Maths Challenge seeks to reframe it as a collaborative activity, where working together is essential to success.
Two weeks before this event we had the difficult job of deciding the team: We were gratified to see twenty students attend for selection, any of whom could have represented the school. In the end however, it was Ellen Zhang, Sienna Wang, George Zhao, and Vivian Gao who were chosen. The team (pictured below) set off to Wheatley Park School on 14 November to compete against 22 other schools through a variety of rounds designed to have them to work together. The team had fun and did a lot of interesting maths, but unfortunately did not win this time. Well done to them for their hard work.
OK mathematicians, here’s that problem from the Individual Maths challenge mentioned earlier:
Bethany has 11 pound coins and some 20p coins and some 50p coins in her purse. The mean value of the coins is 52 pence.
Which could not be the number of coins in the purse?
- 35 B) 40 C) 50 D) 65 E) 95
The Sixth Form Maths department regularly post fiendish problems on the white board in the Maths corridor at 333 – such as the ‘ants’ problem shown above. After attempts from several students, here’s Teo who finally cracked the solution last week.
If you think you know the answer to either Bethany’s monetary quandry or the Ants on the stick problem… do post your answer in ‘comments’ about this article on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/doverbroecksoxford/