Winners crowned at Edge Hill University competition

Edge Hill University has crowned a team from Dudley as winners of its national Maths Challenge competition 2021/22.

‘Kiss My Axis’, one of three teams from Summerhill School, beat competitors from 11 other teams which went through to the final.

The final was held at Edge Hill University’s Ormskirk campus on July 7.

12 teams of budding mathematicians representing nine different schools across the country answered questions which tested their subject knowledge, problem-solving skills and teamwork.

The Maths Challenge is an annual competition organised by Edge Hill’s sector-leading Faculty of Education. 

The competition provides pupils with the opportunity to develop their passion in mathematics by engaging in solving a challenging mathematical problem while developing teamwork and communication skills.

Loretta Barnett, Assistant Director of maths at Summerhill School, said: “We had three teams of students here today and all of our students have absolutely loved it. We’ve come and stayed over and they’ve had the whole student life experience.

“We’ve absolutely loved seeing them thrive doing maths outside of the normal curriculum. Our students really enjoyed practising problem solving, they’ve debated and worked together brilliantly as teams.”

Will Johnson, from the first-place team, added: “We’re all really into maths and the activity was linked to coding which I really enjoy. It’s been good to work as a team and to work collaboratively with each other.

“And visiting Edge Hill was great, the campus is really nice and I’d definitely consider studying here in the future.”

Second and third place went to Cantell School in Southampton and The Hyndburn Academy in Rishton. 

The first-place winners received graphics calculators and the runners up receiving Waterstones vouchers; all participants took home a maths book and a certificate.

Dr Ghada Nakhla, competition organiser and undergraduate mathematics course leader in the Faculty of Education, said: “The Maths Challenge was born out of the desire of many teachers to give their pupils the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of learning mathematics through engaging in challenging mathematical activities, while showing off their incredible skills.

“Mathematics can set you up for all kinds of fascinating and, let’s be honest, highly-paid jobs so it’s important for pupils with a passion for the subject to be encouraged and supported; this competition does just that.”

More than 150 schools from around the country entered the first stage of the competition.

This involved answering one of two challenging mathematics questions. 50 made it through to the second stage before 12 teams were shortlisted to take part in the grand final.

The Year 9 pupils embraced the challenges which were designed to develop their creativity, decision-making and subject knowledge, with each of the 12 finalists presenting their solutions to a panel of expert judges at Edge Hill University.

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