UKMT Team Maths Challenge

Alexandra has written a fantastic account of her time at the UKMT Team Challenge final. Well done!

88 school teams from around the UK met at the Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Hall for the finals of the UKMT Team Challenge National Final.  We were a team of 4 young mathematicians representing Huntington School (and York!), after we won the Regional Final last term.  Sam and I are Year 9s and this was our final year in the UKMT Team Competition.  Oscar is a Year 8 and he specialises in algebra.  And a Year 7, also called Sam, has helped us all the way through our team’s journey through his amazing arithmetic and problem solving expertise.

The Royal Horticultural Society has hosted the UKMT competition for the past decade.  It has a rich history of maths competitions, having held one of the very first competitions/conventions of modern algebra in the mid 1890s.

There were five rounds in the competition, each testing a different discipline and part of teamwork.  The Group Circus tested our ability to work efficiently and effectively with the rest of the team.  During the Shuttle, teams had to trust and depend on the other pair to pass over the correct answers.  In the Cross-number, the teams of four were split again into two pairs, and communication was not allowed.  This meant to work effectively we had to keep trying to get the answers the other pair needed.  Finally, there was the relay round, where the we had succeeded in the Regional finals to get enough points to take us to Nationals.

The problems were very tricky but we found that y=mx+c (York Mathematical Excellence Club) had prepared us for the standard of problem solving needed for this competition (younger Sam looks forward to joining y=mx+c next year!).

Thanks to some great training from ISSP and the Huntington maths department (including Miss Brewin and Mr Ainscough, as well as Miss Mansfield whose paper drawer we may or may not have raided), we won first place in the Poster Competition.

Sam and Oscar are already looking forward to defending their trophy in next year’s competition. Meanwhile Alex and older Sam will have to wait for the Senior Team Competition in year 12!