Mathematics Mastery: YCIS Students Shine in Competitions

At YCIS Shanghai, the robust Mathematics programme in both Primary and Secondary is bolstered by a plethora of Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) and events, including Maths competitions, throughout the year. Despite the current situation, the temporary closure of our school campuses, and busy e-Learning schedules, YCIS students keep achieving tremendous results in international Mathematics competitions! 

Last week, YCIS Pudong Primary students participated in the ‘Mathletics March Maths Challenge’. The aim of the competition, which took place from March 2–8, was to score as many points as possible by answering curriculum questions and competing against students from around the world in live mathematics challenges. The competition was introduced to students by Mr John McEnhill, YCIS Pudong Primary Coordinator, via a live Zoom session where he shared information about the challenge with each year level. “This was a great way to build excitement and show the children how mathematics is relevant to their daily lives,” said Mr McEnhill. In each year level, the best performers will receive prizes, and the best performing class will receive a ‘non-uniform day’ later this semester. A number of our students have also already been featured on the World and Asia leader boards of the competition’s website.

Similarly, over 45 YCIS Pudong Secondary students recently used their home devices to take part in the fun and challenging annual US-based ‘Math League’ contest. Hundreds of thousands of students participate in the contest worldwide, and it is especially popular throughout schools in China. Although the worldwide results are not yet available, Year 7-9 students have achieved some incredible results. In discussing such competitions, Mr Bryan Dennie, Head of Mathematics at YCIS Pudong Secondary, said, “These events are motivating and fun, they allow students to engage with others across the world, and they provide challenges outside of the formal curriculum”. Winning YCIS Pudong students described their feelings about the results: 

Seongbin - Year 7

“I've never had this sort of joy in my life! I didn’t expect to place at all, and I was very pleased to achieve a 1st place tie. Don't always expect that your predictions will be right; the aftermath might blow your mind.”

Daniel - Year 7

“I was positively surprised that I got 1st place tie for the contest, but next time I will try even harder and try to get a better score.”

Wendi - Year 7

“If A is ‘success’, then A=X+Y+Z, where X is ‘learn’, Y is ‘hard work’, and Z is ‘never give up’.”

Jae Hyung (Sean) - Year 8

“In Mathematics class: accuracy > speed. In a Mathematics competition: speed > accuracy.”

Richard - Year 9

“I found the contest quite challenging because the time was really limited. But the payoff was well worth the effort, and it definitely helped enrich my whole e-Learning experience.”

Emily - Year 9 

“The contest was challenging and exciting at the same time, and totally worth it in the end. 30 minutes is way shorter than I thought and trying to answer all of the questions within the time frame was not easy. But I’m so glad that I did even better than I initially thought!”

Jaymee - Year 9

“This was the first time that I participated in a Mathematics competition, and it was a great experience. I was very nervous at the start of the contest, but it turned out to be also quite enjoyable. I didn’t think I would do well, and I was positively surprised by the results.”

 

Beyond these competitions during the e-Learning period, YCIS students participate in Mathematics events throughout the year. One such important Mathematics competition YCIS Pudong students participated in this past year was the North-East Asia Mathematics Competition (NEAMC), an event that was simultaneously held in Nanjing, Ho Chi Minh, and Singapore that attracts over 500 students from top schools from across Asia. During the competition, six YCIS Pudong Secondary students from Years 9 - 10 worked independently and in teams to face unique challenges throughout nine competitive rounds of activities. The tests involved Engineering tasks, Mathematics trivia, strategy games, a ‘creative’ round, and the notorious code-breaking session – the most demanding of all challenges. The students’ hard work paid off with two YCIS Pudong teams placing extraordinarily well, and two of our students earning individual gold and silver medals.

Across the river, there is also a focus on taking Maths beyond the classroom at YCIS Puxi Secondary. For example, in October, students from Years 8 - 10 competed in the ‘High Four’ Maths competition in Beijing, and the ‘Year 10 Maths Fair’ is currently scheduled for April (exact date pending). Dr Chris Hurley, Director of Teaching and Learning at YCIS Puxi, described the upcoming fair, saying “This fantastic event showcases many university-quality academic research posters that the students design based on applying mathematical models to explore real-world phenomena. Over a period of several weeks, the students design a research question, participate in workshops to develop their skills in research, collect and organise data using electronic logging equipment, explore quality academic poster design based on university standards, and then conduct the investigations themselves. This is a top-quality event that showcases the high standards and innovative application of mathematics in analysing and providing potential solutions to authentic real-world problems.”

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