Comox high school hosts – and wins – Canadian Team Mathematics Competition

A standard die with six faces is tossed onto a table. What is the probability that the total number of dots on the five faces that are not lying on the table is at least 19?

This was just one of the challenging questions posed at Highland Secondary April 10 when Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) took centre stage at the Canadian Team Mathematics Competition.

Over a three-hour period in the morning, seven teams of six Grade 11 and 12 students from Highland, Mark Isfeld, G. P. Vanier and Brentwood school competed against each other on a variety of gruelling individual problems, team questions, and math relays.

In the afternoon, students from the four schools formed mixed teams to forge new friendships and to work co-operatively on a demanding STEM challenge.

At the end of the day, Highland’s Grade 12 team (Madeline MacLean, Wil Munro, Niko Nikov, Eun Rho, Robert Russell, and David Schorno) emerged triumphant with an impressive 141 out of 200 possible points.

In second place was the Grade 12 team from Brentwood private school with 90 points, followed by Isfeld’s Grade 12 team with 85 points.

Highland’s Grade 11 team, consisting of Sam Fitz-James, Jessica Gui, Ezra Hawkins, Sarah Liu, Domingo Wu and Jade Zhang, finished fourth with 83 points – an excellent result for a younger team.

Organizer Becky Sulek, a teacher from Highland Secondary, was impressed by what she saw.

“It was great to see like-minded students working together in clever and creative ways,” said Sulek. “I was impressed by the competitive camaraderie within and between the teams. These students are our future STEM leaders, and I think it is important that they are exposed to these opportunities.”

Congratulations to all the students who participated and to the teacher sponsors who made it possible.

By the way, the answer to the question at the beginning of the article is one chance in three.

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