IT’S A PLUS: Apanui School’s Kaylani Mules, Te Rerewairua McLean, Charlotte Brosnahan and Natalie Finlayson are confident about their problem-solving skills. Photos Troy Baker D8844-020

LAST week was New Zealand Maths Week and Eastern Bay schools put on some exciting challenges that saw students puzzling over perplexing mathematical problems.

Apanui School hosted its annual Interschool Maths Problem Solving Competition 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 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 says it was good to have Opotiki’s Ashbrook Primary School at the competition for the first time. With three schools tying in second place – Allandale and two Ohope Beach 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 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 says the year nine class was tasked with coming up with three questions as a homework assignment this term.

“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.”

Tracey says it helped some of her students who are 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 held 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,” Declan says.

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

Think you are good at maths? Give these questions from the primary interschool and Whakatane High School maths challenges your best shot.

Primary Interschool Maths Problem Solving challenge

Question 1

I am thinking of two numbers. The sum of the numbers is 13. The product of the numbers is 42. What are the two numbers?

Question 2

The Thompson family are buying a bigger piece of land. Their current land is a rectangle with an area of 600m2. The longest side of this section is 40m. The new piece of land is the same shape but the dimensions(length and width) are three times bigger. What is the perimeter of the new piece of land?

Question 3

A hockey game has 4 quarters. Each quarter is 15 minutes. Between each quarter the players have a two-minute break. The game starts at 13:00 exactly. At what time will the final whistle blow?

Question 4

Write this number: sixty million, seven thousand, four hundred and fifty

Whakatane High School year 9 and 10 Maths Challenge questions

Question one








Question 2








Primary Interschool maths challenge answers

1: 7, 6
2: 330 (metres)
3: 14:06 or 2:06pm
4: 60,007,450

Whakatane High School year 9 and 10 Maths Challenge answers

1: 35 triangles
2: Table is 46cm high