On Friday 13th August, the last day of a busy Maths Week at the college, we ran a Years 7-10 Mathex and Problem Solving Challenge. Over the course of the morning, each year group ventured down to the auditorium to participate in this inaugural school event. Students were either in Mathex teams of four, or were involved in a House Maths problem solving competition. The college has been part of the annual Auckland wide Mathex competition for many years but this was the first time we had organised a full scale event at the school.

For Mathex, each team gets a starter question, (see example below) and when they have an answer, they run round a set course to the judge’s table. If correct, they receive 5 points and a new question is received, but if incorrect, then the runner returns to their team to try again on the question. It is a full-on 30 minutes!

The auditorium was full of the noise of teams working out problems, frantic runners trying to see if they had the right answer and busy judges keen to mark accurately and keep all teams working at pace. The house problem solvers had an Egyptian code to crack, 12 days of Christmas presents to count up, a maths wordsearch to solve and much more!

A teacher team of non-mathematicians participated during each period and the students enjoyed seeing them in action throughout the morning. Overall the event created a wonderful Maths learning atmosphere and we are hoping that this will be an annual event on the SMC calendar for many years to come!


Ian Vickers
HOD Mathematics & Statistics