On Monday, 5th September, two teams of four Year 7 students packed into the bus and headed to Mt Hira College, to participate in the annual Maths Association of Victoria’s State Competition. With the participation of 48 teams in total, the day was filled with of course maths games, that were played both one on one against students from other schools and games that were worked on as a team. The team activities included a problem solving relay and a problem solving worksheet that was hoped to be completed in 45 minutes. As for the individual games, they were based more on strategies.
In total, there were four activities, not including the practise logic puzzles in the beginning. The first of the four activities was an individual event, where each person played a game of Tic Tac toe, with a twist; instead of a three by three grid, filled with squares, the game’s grid was filled with pentagons, placed in such a way that all pentagons formed a large pentagon itself. After 45 minutes of playing this unique game for two players, the scores were counted, and each point contributed to each team’s total score. After this activity, students were called out for a short recess.
The second activity was problem solving, where each team worked together to solve a total of 29 questions, each of them varying in difficulty, the first question being moderately difficult, and the last being exceedingly perplexing. Both Tintern teams did extremely well, both teams finishing many of the questions. The amount of points earned from each puzzle was based on difficulty, and the scores tallied up from this compilation of problem solving questions was added onto the scores of each team.
The third of the activity, and probably the most difficult, was another individual event, in which Tintern students faced off against students from other schools. This game’s point system was much like the first individual game, but the rules were slightly changed. Again, the overall scores of wins and losses were added for each person in their team, and their individual scores contributed to their total points. At that moment, as students checked their team’s scores, one of Tintern Grammar’s teams were second place, with a total of 200 points, following closely behind the first team’s score, which was 230. Then, students were called out to a short lunch break.
The fourth and final of the four activities each team participated in was a team problem solving relay. The fastest runner from each team ran to fetch questions for their team to solve. This activity was very similar to the problem solving activity, but students solved the problems under pressure from a lack of time. However, both teams did very well, both boys and girls teams scoring very high marks on the event. This event was the last one, and after this, the scores were added up, and the day concluded.
Each school’s teams were crowded around the computer screen in which the scores of each team were written. Each team waited intensely, waiting to know their final score and how well they did in representing their school. After five or so minutes, which felt like an illusion of forever, the scores were marked and added up, and the first pleadings of teams were announced. One of Tintern Grammar’s teams had come third! We celebrated, as coming third in a total of 48 teams was a phenomenal effort! After congratulating first and second place, Tintern Grammar students boarded the bus, en route back to school. This Maths Games Day was indeed a success, for both teams, and everyone knew they had tried their best, as well as having lots of fun taking part in each game, and we were all winners.
by Joshua Choong and Holly Whitfield