‘Mathletes’ off to Kenya

2018-05-15 06:01
North Shore High mathlete champions from the popular movie, Mean Girls 2. Photo: BuzzFeed

North Shore High mathlete champions from the popular movie, Mean Girls 2. Photo: BuzzFeed

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Two Rondebosch learners are among six Maths champs that will be representing the country at the 26th Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO) to be held in Nairobi in Kenya next month.

The annual event starts on Saturday 23 June and ends on Saturday 30 June. Grade 12 learners Amber de Decker from Herschel Girls’ High School and Razeen Parker from Rondebosch Boys’ High School are part of the team selected by the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) as the top learners in the final round of the 2017 South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) and other Olympiad training programmes organised by the SAMF.

During the competition, contestants will write two question papers covering algebra, geometry, number theory and combinatorics.

Female learners will also be competing against other African girls in PAMO-G, which is the mathematics Olympiad for girls. They will be competing against teams from 12 other African countries, including Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal.

According to a statement, the objective of the event is to encourage mathematical talent and exchange information on curricula and teaching methods in mathematics across the African continent.

“They will learn how to take on mathematical problems differently as they interact with learners from other African countries­.”

Professor Johann Engelbrecht, executive director at the SAMF, says he wishes the team all the best. “This will be a great learning experience for these young mathletes as they have been training very hard for this opportunity. The PAMO is a great way for learners to improve their problem-solving ability and learn from different countries on how to tackle questions.”

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