On Monday 18 June the LGS Junior Maths Team competed in London in the national final of the ‘Team Maths Challenge’ event (organised by the UK Maths Trust). LGS had qualified for the final by winning the Leicestershire heat – for the sixth time in the last seven years – and were now up against nearly 90 of the very best maths teams from around the country.
Adithya Kunigiri and Kishan Modi in Year 9, together with the Year 8 students Alex Nelson and Matthew Younger, arrived full of enthusiasm for the competition held at the Royal Horticultural Halls in central London.
Their first task was to work together to design and create a poster about the work of the great Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler. Then, in the second round, they took on a range of unfamiliar five minute mathematical tasks designed to stretch their thinking to the limit.
Working in pairs for the remainder of the contest, they raced against the clock in mini-relay rounds, and then a cross-number – in which their score was 100% – and finally a longer relay. The students had to adapt quickly to different mathematical situations, work out their own strategy, and then solve the set problems with as much speed and accuracy as possible. It was a real test, especially because of the tough time constraints – demanding even for our very bright students.
Our final position was a very pleasing 7th place in the country – a remarkable result. This was the fifth time in the last seven years that we had finished in the top 30 teams in the UK in this competition, but this was in fact our best position since 2009 – so very many congratulations go to the four boys involved. Indeed, more than 1700 school teams from around the country had entered at the regional stage, so Adithya, Kishan, Alex and Matthew performed extremely well this year to make it into the top 10.