South Area Network Team Maths Challenge
On Tuesday the 3rd of July, six brave, young mathematicians endeavoured to go where no Camp Hill Boy has ever gone before: deep into the heart of the Camp Hill Girls building, to participate in the South Area Network Team Maths Challenge. After a large amount of confusion concerning the meet-up time, the boys were glad to find that most of the team, consisting of Hemal Aggarwal, Ben Brown, Sam Cole, Peter Kippax, Aarondeep Singh and Deniz Yoruk-Mikhailov (all in Year 9), had managed to find the hidden meet-up point.
After having been led through several winding, maze-like corridors, the team took out their mascot (a colourful die they made during a preparatory lunchtime) and proceeded with their genius strategy of getting other teams to underestimate them. In a surprising turn of events, Mr Thompson was asked to participate as part of an informal staff team, and accepted, knowing that his expertise was much needed.
With the arrival of the final school, it was time for the competition to begin, and a set of 10 questions were given out to each team to complete. Camp Hill Boys made a good start—they finished, feeling very confident in their answers, with roughly twenty minutes still to go, so a debate on what to do to fill up the time was started. This turned out to be rather useful as it took up all the remaining time.
After a quick break, and eating as many biscuits and muffins they could get away with, the team started the next round, a code-breaking round, and again finished with ages left due to incredible performance early on by Sam Cole, who managed to find a place in the ciphertext where the word ‘mathematician’ fit exactly.
The following round was a quick-fire question round. The team looked expectantly at Hemal Aggarwal after each question, and sure enough, within three seconds he would have the right answer! This continued for 40 short questions until the lunch break was announced.
After lunch came the final round: a relay round consisting of 5 sets of questions. The teams sat in columns, one person behind another of their team, and each person would receive one question to complete and pass on the answer to the person behind who would need it to find the answer to their question. The team whizzed through the first 4 sets, but got stuck on the final set due to a poorly written question which didn’t use BIDMAS. Camp Hill Girls, being worse mathematicians who forgot that BIDMAS existed, managed to beat Camp Hill Boys on time for the first time in the competition. Although there were no deductions for incorrect answers, the scoring system was changed part-way through the round, to take into account the order in which teams finished. The net result of this was that the girls team outscored the boys!
Finally, the time had come to see if the team had done well enough; as various scores were read out, tension began to grow.
“3rd place: Bishop Challoner… and second place with 200 points, only ten points behind the leading team, Camp Hill Girls…”
Camp Hill Boys had won with 210 points and equalised with the informal staff team! [Due to the fact that the staff team aimed for perfection in the relay round, and submitted no incorrect answers… Had the scoring system not been changed, the staff team would have won.]
For their great work and effort throughout the day, they won 6 gold-coloured plastic medals and a trophy! Many thanks to Mr Thompson and Mrs Crockford for preparing the boys for this challenge, and accompanying them on the day.
By Deniz Yoruk-Mikhailov, 9M