On April 21, over 300 junior division students put their thinking caps on as they tackled through mathematical adventures as part of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School's Junior Math Challenge.
Hosted at Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School, the day highlighted the importance of mathematics in everyday lives.
"Over the years, the Junior Math Challenge has engaged students in a variety of learning activities which allows them to apply their knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts and further refine and develop their mathematical process skills,” said Co-Chair Christina Scheben.
Rotating through five mathematical centres, students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 worked independently and in teams through a number of different focuses, including: problem-solving, mental math, geometry, measurement and number, thought-provoking puzzles and robotics.
While the short-term goal might have been to score the highest amongst all the school teams, students were reminded that the importance of these mathematical and problem-solving skills will help carry them throughout their futures.
“Now is the best day to be alive because of all the possibilities,” said keynote speaker Jonathan So, who spoke on how far technology has come in even a few short decades. Pulling out his cellphone, So noted how incredibly lucky we are to have a light-weight portable device that not only supports communication, but can access the internet, store music and even play games.
“When I was younger this is what I had,” So laughed, pulling up an image of a Walkman. The real kicker? No student in the audience knew what it was.
But that’s his point. Our modern society is rapidly improving with technological advancements that the possibilities really are endless. But how do those possibilities become reality?
“You need mathematics for any job you want – an animator, musician, teacher, architect, engineer, they all need math,” said So.
“And so today, by being here, you have decided to learn. And you matter. Your ideas matter. Your curiosities matter. Your thoughts, your ideas, they matter. And so, when you explore today I want you to question. I want you to wonder, I want you to have curiosities. To push yourselves to think.”
“Who knows what can happen.”
The teams that were recognized were:
First place overall: St. Gabriel
Top feeder school for each secondary school:
St. Mark (Bishop Ryan)
Corpus Christi (Bishop Tonnos)
St. Gabriel (Cardinal Newman)
St. Ann Hamilton (Cathedral)
St. Teresa of Calcutta (St. Jean de Brébeuf)
St. Michael (St. Thomas More)
Our Lady of Mount Carmel (St. Mary)