National Final of the Junior Team National Maths Challenge - Live Blog

National Final of the Junior Team National Maths Challenge - Live Blog

The Moreton team of Lily Mainwaring, Katie Billing, Georgina Lang and Saskia Wells are competing in the National Final of the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust, Junior Team Challenge. Read their live blog written by Sean Lang, Maths teacher, below, newest entries are at the top.

4.45pm - The Results

Moreton finished in an exceptional 69th place out of 1730 teams that entered the competition - read that again - the 69th best team in the UK. Well done indeed!

What a fantastic day:-))

For the record, the winners were

1st: City of London School
2nd=: Reading Grammar School
2nd=: Colchester Royal Grammar

4.20pm - The Relay

Imagine 320 children sprinting from one side of a crowded room to another, collecting questions and delivering answers. H&S... yeah right!

It was brilliant!!!

And now we sit and wait for the results.  In truth, they are winners already.  Well done Katie, Lily, Georgie, and Sassy.

3.30pm - Scores 

Shuttle: 15/60... a bit of a dip!

Crossword: 48/58... absolutely brilliant!

Everything to play for in the relay...

3pm - Crossnumber

Like a cross word but with numbers!!!

To make it harder, 2 of the team only get to see the across clues and the other 2 only get to see the down clues.

Still not seen the Shuttle scores.

2pm - Shuttle Round

The team is split into 2 pairs. The pairs will take it in turns to answer a series of questions.

The problem is that each question requires you to do something to the previous answer!  You pay heavily for an early error since all subsequent answers in the series will also be wrong.

Scores available in 40 minutes' time...

Example Shuttle Questions

1.30pm - Family Support

OM and older sister, Jenny, drops in to offer support. Dad is around too but didn't make the photo!

1pm - Latest Score

Moreton Hall score 39/48... a brilliant performance:-)) Time for some lunch. 

12.30pm - Group Circus

A series of 8 mathematical puzzles to be completed in 5 minutes each. At the end of each 5 minutes, the entire hall moves like a huge snake onto the next 'station'.  Teachers man the stations and try to avoid being crushed by the snake. No supervising of your own team so no progress update until the end of the round. My first 2 sets of 'visitors' each scored 6/6...

Fingers crossed for Moreton Hall.

12pm - Maths Billiards Poster 

A really impressive 50 minutes of hard work...

11am - Setting the Scene 

We are ready to go. A total of 80 teams are packed into the Royal Horticultural Hall. To paraphrase JFK: there hasn't been this much intellect assembled in a single room since Thomas Jefferson dined alone!

The girls face 4 rounds of competition: Group Circus, Shuttle, Crossnumber and Relay. More about each as we come to them.

Before that starts, and by way of breaking the ice, they first have to create a poster that will be judged separately. The subject is "Mathematical Billiards".


I'm woken from a snooze by insistent voices...

"Remind us how to derive the equation for the number of times a ball can be reflected around a closed polygon before it becomes cyclic."

The other adults in the carriage look away, fear in their eyes.  A bit drowsy, I take my time, eventually handing the paper back.  The girls seem happy.

Maths in public... it's not a crime! Yet we seem to have acquired a little more space to call our own, a little more room to spread out the formula sheets and iPads.

9am - And They're Off!

"And so it begins. On a lonely pre-commuter platform the remarkably wide awake, and ever sharp, Moreton Hall Maths Challenge Team begin their journey to London. Today is the National Final of the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust, Junior Team Challenge. Lily Mainwaring, Katie Billing, Georgina Lang and Sassy Wells have a busy day ahead of them and they are positively buzzing!

As they pose for the camera, Mr Lang says: "on 3".

Unprompted, and in unison, they shout: "3.141582654..."

More to follow..."