Young maths whizzes go into numbers battle - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Young maths whizzes go into numbers battle

16 Jul 2019

USC has initiated a new challenge to find some of the most innovative young mathematicians from Moreton Bay to the Fraser Coast.

About 200 Year 9 and 10 maths enthusiasts will compete in the Maths Modelling Challenge to be held across three days this week at USC’s campuses at the Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay and Caboolture.

Under the guidance of a USC mathematician or statistician, the students will work in teams of four to develop and present mathematical models that solve real life scenarios.

Marina Fitzpatrick from USC’s School of Science and Engineering said the fun and exciting competition environment would help students gain a better understanding of how maths can explain many aspects of our world.

“By combining a mix of different kinds of maths for their analysis and solutions, students are encouraged to use the power of maths to find answers to problems that are part of the everyday,” she said.

The top two teams will go on to compete in the Maths Modelling Challenge Finale at the Sunshine Coast campus during National Science Week (10 - 18 August 2019) against the other finalists from Fraser Coast and Moreton Bay.

“This expanded competition is an exciting new initiative by USC’s School of Science and Engineering in collaboration with the School of Education,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

“It is the first year the competition has been expanded to include Moreton Bay schools after being held at the Sunshine Coast campus for three years and being successfully trialled at USC Fraser Coast last year.”

While this year’s challenge problems remain a secret, past scenarios include working out whether it is worth travelling further to buy cheaper petrol and the optimal angle to kick a football through posts.

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