As runners-up to Colchester Royal Grammar School in the Regional Team Maths Challenge, our Year 10 team (Will Wright, Samantha Blackman, Beatriz Losada and Luke Quartermaine (as a replacement for Jack Lecompte) were invited to compete in the final stage of this exciting competition on Tuesday, 16th April 2013.
Mr Pirvu took our team to the exquisite Centre for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University and they had to prepare a special topic in advance – the binomial expansion – with the support of their teacher, Mrs Ward. At the beginning, the students enjoyed an inspiring lecture by Alan Davies, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Hertfordshire. He spoke on some applications of mathematics, centering in particular on the uses of quadratic equations in real life and he also looked at the many careers Mathematics prepares you for.
Twenty-eight schools took part in the final, all of whom had done very well indeed to get to this intensely fought stage of the competition, emerging from ten regional competitions. The final consisted of five rounds: twenty questions (students on their own, then in pairs, then in their group), general problem solving (team work), the special topic round, a multiple-choice round, and, finally, the relay round made of four five-minute parts.
All of this was challenging, thought provoking and simply good fun – a thoroughly enjoyable day out and a worthwhile trip.