ADDS UP: Ashbrook School’s Tangaroa Abraham, Nelson Hustler, Annie Whioke and Haile Collier are close to figuring out a problem. D8844-057

WITH New Zealand Maths Week last week, schools put on some exciting challenges that saw students puzzling over perplexing mathematical problems.

Apanui School’s annual Interschool Maths Problem Solving Competition is always a highlight, and this year it was Awakeri School that took top honours at Friday’s event.

Twenty-three teams from nine schools around the Eastern Bay competed, the biggest number ever. Groups of four year 5 and year 6 students worked their way through 25 questions in 40 minutes. No calculators or rulers were allowed and the team that answered the most questions correctly in the time given was the winner.

Apanui School principal Simon Akroyd said it was good to have Ashbrook Primary School at the competition as they had not competed before.

With three teams tying in second place – Allandale and two Ohope Beach School teams – the second and third places had to be decided with a “sudden death” tie-breaker question.

In the end it was Allandale that took second place and the two Ohope Beach teams placed third and fourth.

Trident High School students also got involved in the competition, with many of the questions created by its year nine students, who were also there to mark the answers.

Trident head of maths Tracey Webster said the year nine class was tasked with coming up with three questions as a homework assignment this term.

“There was a brief to make it relevant and what you would have liked to have seen as a question … so we have got some hockey questions and there are snowballs being made and there are things they would have liked to see as questions.

“It was a bit of a community focus, what we can give back to the maths community because so many remember coming to this competition themselves and speak fondly of it.”

Mrs Webster said it had helped some of her students who were preparing for the annual Maths Mind competition, being hosted in the Eastern Bay for the first time. The competition, for year 9 and 10s, takes place at Trident on Friday and Trident, Whakatane High School and Edgecumbe College have collaborated to run it.

Whakatane High School also put on its own challenge on Friday.

Head of maths Declan Manning organised the problem-solving event for teams of year 9 and 10 students.

“The event went well. It took a little bit for them to get into it but once they had done the first two questions, they really enjoyed it. I included a few questions where they had to run and find teachers for answers, so that added to the fun. Some of the questions were pretty hard even though they did not necessarily look it, but all the students gave it their best shot,” he said.

The winners were Jacob Hagan, Lucca Wilson and Ryan Kennedy with 14 correct questions out of 16 attempted.

kathy.forsyth@thebeacon.co.nz