Twelve students went to the provincial Math Challengers competition, held on Saturday, March 8 at the University of British Columbia. Accompanied by Mr. Steve Bates and Ms. Allison Fenneman from the Senior School, the team of math students were among 200 competitors from approximately 20 schools in the provoince. SMUS entered one Grade 8 team and one Grade 9 team, each consisting of five students and alternates.
The contest is organized in four sections with both grades facing identical questions at each level. In the first section an individual is given 40 minutes to complete 26 challenge questions with no multiple choice questions and no calculator. Second, 12 problems must be finished in 36 minutes. Next, teams of five students work together to complete 10 problems in 24 minutes.
In the final phase of the competition, the “buzzer” round, the top eight individual students at each grade level compete one-on-one against an opponent to complete three questions in under 45 seconds.
The Grade 8 team scored third in the province, an improvement over last year’s fourth-place finish. Though the Grade 9 team did not place, the students performed very well. The students have been attending lunch-time practices and tutorial sessions since early January in preparation for this event.