A group of students at École St. Patrick High School participated in the Canadian senior and intermediate mathematics competitions in November; this month, they got some good news.
Kaitlyn Stewart, Rohma Athar, Logan Rolles, Samien Sarwar and Halimah Adepoju are NWT champions in the Canadian Senior Mathematics Contest by placing in the top five territorially. Athar was also the school champion in the Canadian Senior Mathematics Contest while Kai Shimada was the school champion in the Canadian Intermediate Mathematics Contest.
“I like math.” Athar said, “My favourite branches of math would be algebra and trigonometry. I like math because it is like solving puzzles. Math challenges me in different ways and gets me to think outside the box. Math was not my strength in elementary school but I started developing an aptitude for it in middle school and now it is one of my stronger subjects.”
She added that she was not expecting to win, so once the result came out, she was surprised.
Kali Brasseur, a math teacher at St. Pat’s, said involving students in these contests means deepening their interest in the subject, like solving puzzles, logic problems and geometry. The two competitions give participants an opportunity to have fun and develop their mathematical problem-solving abilities.
The students are pulled out of their regular classes to write the contest and they’re allowed to use a calculator, Brasseur said, noting that she arranges the competition annually. This year, the 18 St. Pat’s students selected to compete weren’t chosen based on their skills being strongest, but based on their fondness for math, Brasseur added.
Based on the statistics from The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing at the University of Waterloo, it shows that 9,895 contestants participated in the senior age group while 8,450 entered the intermediate group.
Most of the intermediate mathematics problems are based on the mathematical curriculum up to and including Grade 10. Most of the senior math problems are based on the mathematical curriculum up to and including the final year of secondary school.
Students who won the contest in their categories will receive a medal and a certificate.
As a university graduate, Brasseur admitted that there on questions in the test that she would find challenging.
She said all five of the winning St. Pat’s students are great problem solvers and their outstanding results are well-deserved.