Saturday, November 15

Summing up – the Cook Islands mathematics competition

The annual Cook Islands maths competition took place on Thursday. Some people might find it hard to imagine maths as a competitor sport but check out the video if you don’t believe it.
Teams of up to four students from grades 6 (primary school) and forms 1 to 4 (secondary) have twenty minutes to answer twenty questions. Sounds easy but the questions are handed out one at a time; you get 5 points if you answer it correctly first time, 4 for a second try and so on. You can pass on a question if it’s too hard so as well as mathematical ability there’s the question of strategy – when to give up and go on to the next one. And all the time you’ve got the noise of supporters and the sight of your competitors scoring points. Southern group schools from Aitutaki, Mangaia and Mauke took part as well as the Rarotonga schools. The atmosphere in the national auditorium was electric and it just goes to show that people here can get excited about more than sports and cultural dancing!
The first maths competition took place in the mid 1980s but then there was a break of several years before it got going again under the guidance of Strickland Upu of the Ministry of Education. It must be very encouraging for the ministry that the outer islands and some of the smaller Rarotonga schools are becoming so competitive.
The results were as follows:
Grade 6: 1 Avarua; 2 Rutaki; 3 Papaaroa.
Form 1: 1 Avarua; 2 Mangaia; 3 Te Uki Ou.
Form 2: 1 Te Uki Ou 1; 2 Te Uki ou 2; 3 Avatea.
Form 3: 1 Tereora 1; 2 Tereora 2; 3 Titikaveka.
Form 4; 1 Tereora; 2 Nukutere; 3 Papaaroa.
The video is from the grade 6 and form 1 sections.
But now it’s back to sport with the Vaka Eiva outrigger canoeing festival underway with hundreds of paddlers from New Zealand, Australia, California, Hawaii, Guam and Tahiti as well as Rarotonga.
The first races, the OC1 Ironman (and woman) events took place today (Saturday) in hot, sunny conditions.