200+ youngsters turn out for Maths Olympiad
Hundreds of the Islands keenest young mathematicians put their skills to the test yesterday for the Mathematics Olympiad.
So many turned up that volunteers were tested in grading them in time for the prize giving.
This is probably the most papers weve ever marked, Centre for Talented Youth (CTY) deputy Tossha Graff told the assembled students and parents as she announced the winners. I thought at one point we wouldnt have the results.
Even students too young to qualify for prizes eschewed a sunny day to take the test.
Out of the 260 who registered, over 200 packed Berkeley Institute, said organiser and founder Riquette Bonne-Smith, director of CTY.
I was interested to see how many older students participated this year, she noted.
The writer of the annual test, Professor Barry Ferguson from Canadas University of Waterloo, said the questions are drawn in part from the events collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University CTY and his own alma mater.
We respect one anothers rights when we come up with the problems, but after that its fair game, he said. We look for inspiration wherever we can find it. I pick up books, look up problems, find problems someone else used and alter them.
It helps when youve been creating contests for 27 or so years.
Guest speaker Aries Haziza, who heads catastrophe risk analysis for Allied World Assurance, used his own work to tie in the application of maths with the notion of risk.
Risk is word you hear day to day; I just wanted people to visualise what you mean by risk, he said.
Intuition is a very important concept in maths. I talked about making mental pictures as a way of visualisation — its a good way to understand mathematical concepts.
For the small army of volunteers who supervise and then correct the Maths Olympiad, the turnout proved especially gratifying.
Its amazing to see what a big deal this is to them, observed volunteer Susie Hall, a learning resource teacher at Bermuda High School who was on hand to welcome students, who commended the community effort to promote maths.
Were doing something right if we can get that many children interested in this — we even have little P5 keen beans who arent eligible sitting in with the P6 students.
Useful website: www.ctybermuda.com.
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