UKMT Senior Maths Challenge

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Senior Maths Challenge North West Regionals took place on November 14th. Four of our students, Rebecca & Tokino from Year 13 and Zoe & Jorja from Year 12, went to Manchester and beat the 28 other schools! We spoke to Zoe and Jorja who told us about their first Maths Challenge competition.

How was the experience?
The experience as a whole was interesting and quite scary. It’s daunting seeing all of the other schools but so exciting. Yeah, I agree. It was a really enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

What did you do?
We went to Manchester University into a big hall with about 25 other schools and we had to compete in three rounds.
The first was 10 questions which we had 40 minutes to complete as a group which we found quite challenging. I think we only managed to complete around 8 for that one.
The second was a cross number (basically a crossword but with numbers) where we split into pairs and each pair has a set of clues for either the down or across numbers. We couldn’t communicate with the other pair so it was quite hard! We could only show them what our answers were on a “master grid” which we can both see and relay short messages through our teacher (Each team got a teacher from a different school).
And finally it was the shuttle relay.  One pair gets a question and the answer they get is needed for the other pair to work out their answer, so it was quite intense.

What is the next step?
Nationals is in London in February and I’m slightly terrified but still excited! To prepare we have to make a poster for the poster competition. We also have to do the same three rounds as mentioned before so we have a lot of practice questions to do.

Would u recommend others to try it?
Yeah, definitely. Yes, I would recommend it to those who are really dedicated to maths and enjoy doing it 🙂

Are there any hard questions/ problems that stood out?
I only remember two. A spider one which was like “imagine a room as a cuboid with sides 30, 12 and 12. There is a spider positioned 1m from the floor on one of the square walls equidistant from the two side walls and a fly on the opposite square wall 1m from the ceiling also equidistant from the two side walls. The spider must walk to eat the fly and he has found a way to do this which is less than 42m how did he do it” and then a UKMT one which was like “if 0<U<K<M<T<10 and U^M=K x T what is U+K+M+T”

Nationals are on Tuesday 7th February 2017 at London. Let’s wish them luck!

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