Report by Finn Howard - Year 9
Recently, a team of 4 of Richard Lander School’s brightest Year 8 and Year 9 mathematicians competed on the UKMT Team Maths Challenge, alongside friendly rivals such as Redruth, Penair, Pool, Truro and Penryn Schools. Although Richard Lander’s team of Matthew Luetchford, Finn Howard, Magnus Lennon and Harley Norgate did not make the top 3, they managed to obtain a respectable 8rd place and had good fun throughout the successful day.
On the day, prior to the 4 main challenges, the UKMT kindly presented some challenging practice questions for us to prepare and to get our brains into gear, then we moved on to the challenges.
The first challenge was a series of 10 problems, which we were given a time of 45 minutes to solve. Following this, our school teacher would have to move to a different table and be replaced by a teacher from another school to mark our answers for the remainder of the day. A cross number was presented as our second challenge – similar to a crossword, but number based rather than word based; this was also a 45 minute task. The third ‘Shuttle’ round was a series of 4 rounds of 4 quick fire semi-conundrums, each consecutive question requiring the answer of the previous one. 8 minutes were granted to complete these, but in the case that your team solved all 4 in 6 minutes, bonus points were awarded.
The fourth and final round was the one the day was most well renowned for: the relay. Each original group of 4 split into sub – teams which had to take different positions around the hall. Along the wall our teachers for the day sat, prepared to hand out the questions once each group of 2 had completed the last task. The way it worked was simple: group A from our school would run up to collect the question, and come back to his partner for help to complete it. After returning their answer to the teacher, if they got it right, they would get a new question for group B and vice – versa. However, if the presented answer was incorrect, the sub-team would be allowed a second attempt. Should they fail again, they would still be able to pass the question on to the other group from their school but would receive none of the 2 possible marks.
Overall, our 4 contestants definitely enjoyed the day despite not getting quite as good a result as we would have liked to, but participation and enjoying it is really what counts the most. Good luck to next year’s team; we hope to see you in the finals!