Last week, seven Somerset College students travelled to Hillcrest Christian College for one of the highlights of the Mathematical calendar - the 2019 QAMT Gold Coast District Maths quiz. Thirteen mathematically talented teams from across the southern Gold Coast competed in a cornucopia of calculations and dined on didactic deductions designed to differentiate.
The teams are made up of an amalgam of Year 7 and 8 students and the quiz is organized into 5 rounds, comprising a mixture of both individual and team questions.
Round One was Estimation with questions like; Estimate the time it takes Big Ben in London to chime 12 o’clock (Answer 90 seconds). Of course, in reality, the famous clock has been silenced for renovations and, apart from New Year’s Eve, is not due to chime again until 2021.
Round Two, Speed, followed quickly behind with 12 mental arithmetic problems for the team to complete in two minutes. One such question was; What is the number, if the cube of the square root of the number is eight? (Answer 4).
Round Three was Problem Solving, with five problems for each team member to solve in 15 minutes, for example; A pump can fill a tank of water in five hours. A second pump can fill the same tank in eight hours. How long does it take the two pumps working together to fill the tank? (round your answer to the nearest minute). (Answer three hours and five minutes).
This was a great opportunity for parents and teachers to take some refreshments. Sadly, the supply of cookies soon ran out which reminded me of the result of asking Siri that all-important question “What is zero divided by zero?” She replies "Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn't make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad that you have no friends."
Round Four was split into Individual questions, for example; The internal angle sum of a four-sided polygon (quadrilateral) is 360 degrees and of a five-sided polygon (pentagon) is 540 degrees. What is the internal angle sum of a seven-sided polygon (heptagon)? (Answer; 900 degrees).
The last round was General Knowledge; How many leap years occur between 2019 and 2119? (Answer; 24). Most people in the room, including the audience, thought that the answer was 25 but 2100 will not be a leap year). The rules for assigning leap years are that most years that can be divided evenly by four are leap years with the exception that Century years are not leap years unless they can be evenly divided by 400. For those who like to plan well ahead, this means that 2100, 2200 and 2300 are not leap years but 2400 will be one. This correction occurs in the Gregorian calendar as the length of the solar year is about 11 minutes less than 365¼ days.
When all the scores were tallied, the Somerset #1 team came out on top with 18.5 points, All Saints were second on 15.5, and Somerset #2, third on 14.5. The Somerset #1 team therefore go through to the State finals in Brisbane, where they will proudly represent the southern Gold Coast. The finals take place at UQ on Thursday October 24th and will incorporate a Maths activity event.
Congratulations go to all the squad members; Aditya Naik, Matthew Nickels, Kakeru Adachi, Isabella Ong, Penelope Deacon, Ananya Garg. Reserves; Nitika Bethi, Xavier O’Brien.
Hillcrest College ran the quiz extremely well and must be thanked for the hosting of the event. My thanks also go to all the parents who attended the evening, as well as Mr Brodar for his continued support.
The next event on the Somerset calendar will be Phi night hosted by the Somerset Mathematical Society (SMS), which will be held in the SLC on Phiday 23 August at 4.05pm. This is a public event which includes a free gift and hot Phies.
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