Pictured here during the Mats Challenge are, from left, Beth Walton from St. Ignatius High School, Haeli Skeete from Clifton Hunter Hihg School and Kiondre Prendergast from Triple C School.

Cayman’s brightest young mathematicians tested their skills at the 2019 Minds Inspired Mathematics Challenge on 21-22 November in the Sir Vassel Johnson Multipurpose Hall at the University College of the Cayman Islands.

Almost 200 junior and senior high school students from both private and public schools throughout the Cayman Islands participated.

Organised by Dart Education Programmes Manager Glenda McTaggart, the Maths Challenge is a competition in which students compete individually through a series of timed tests. The students are also tested on their ability to collaborate in a mixed-team challenge where they are paired up to solve problems with students from other schools. 

This year, Rachel Funk and Alex Locke from Aureum Re visited the students during their lunch break to teach them about career opportunities in actuarial science. The students heard about the skills needed to become an actuary and they were encouraged to take STEM subjects in high school and university. 

“If you keep doing subjects that keep the analytical side of your brain sharp, you’ll be prepared for the actuarial exams,” said Funk. 

In the junior challenge, Cayman Prep and High School swept the individual awards with Danny Kish winning Year 7, Cormac Finnegan winning Year 8, Walker Riley winning Year 9 and the overall winner was Will Sellars. John Gray High School won the school team event, while the junior mixed-team winners were Thalia Clarke from Clifton Hunter High School, Gabriel Mathura from St. Ignatius Catholic School and Jake Fagan from Cayman Prep and High School.

In the senior challenge, St. Ignatius Catholic School led the way with Ethan Cronier being crowned the overall champion and Michael Marzouca, Oisin McGeough and Samruddhi Tagalpallewar won the Year 10, 12 and 13 awards respectively. Liam Sinclair of Cayman Prep and High School was the recipient of the Year 11 award. The senior mixed-team winners were Graeme Madison of Cayman Prep and High School, Shelia Watler of Layman E. Scott High School and Darwin Cook of Clifton Hunter High School. 

The overall champions from both age groups were each awarded $150 Camana Bay gift cards and had their names permanently engraved to the Mathematics Challenge trophy. Year group winners and winning mixed-team members received $100 Camana Bay gift cards and medals. The junior challenge school team winner, John Gray High School, received medals and robotics kits for their school.