High Distinctions at the AMC Awards

Congratulations to Zac Perkin (year 10) and Kevin Fan (year 9) who received High Distinction awards at the 2018 Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) Awards Night held at Selwyn College.

A High Distinction award is given to students who achieve in the top 3% of participants in their region, in this case, New Zealand so this is an outstanding achievement for Zac and Kevin.

Thousands of students participate annually in the AMC from over 30 countries and success in this competition is very highly regarded globally. Often top students in this competition are invited to participate in development camps and training sessions for national competitions.

Speakers at the ceremony highlighted how important skill in mathematics is in today’s world. We heard from Dr Tanya Evans from the University of Auckland who stressed that we are in the Era of Mathematics and showed us the how mathematics is behind every key development. We were reminded that in today’s world it is not necessarily what you are qualified to do that is most important but how you think. And behind those thinkers is mathematics.

Congratulations to our great thinkers and budding mathematicians Kevin and Zac!

Club of the Week – Board Games

Each lunch time and interval Mrs Hibberd opens up her classroom for the board game club – or just for general “chilling out”, as she describes it. A cosy place to hide on winter lunchtimes, the board game club is open for everyone, all ages. Board game favourites include Cluedo, Monopoly, and Chess – anything goes. Mrs Hibberd has a collection of board games, and students are of course welcome to bring their own. It’s a lovely, friendly vibe, and a great way to meet new friends and relax!

– Rene Ryall Y13

Leadership Forum

Late last term, Mckenzie Northcott and Flynn Fromont represented Strathallan at the Counties Manukau Schools Leadership Forum. Schools from all over the area met to discuss their leadership roles, with new ideas bouncing all around the room. It was an enjoyable day spent meeting and learning about fellow leaders in the local community.

The Theory of Maths

The day before exams started, a small group of senior students were treated to a lecture by UK mathematician, Rob Eastaway. Eastaway has a varied maths background using his statistical knowledge to work with big business, sports and education. The topic of this lecture was ‘Decision Maths’ where he looked at the maths involved in decision-meking, from sports to Mars orbiters and everything in between. He showed us how he developed a ranking system for the world cricket stage and how mathematical decisions could help you win at game shows. It was thoroughly enjoyable with lots of interaction and opportunities for students to win money, chocolate and the coveted truncatable prime pencil which Mrs Rabulall is surfing the internet to try to find as we speak. It was a great opportunity to see how maths relates to real-world scenarios, the pit-falls and tips of applying our maths knowledge.

Here’s what a couple of the seniors had to say about their experience:

Jeonghyeok Park, Matthew Walters, Ryan O’Sullivan, Tonii Ruiterman and Callum Travers

Quotes from the students

Park:

It was a beneficial time to have a think about mathematical models around us. There were lots of interesting topics that could be explained by statistics which will help for my future decisions.

Callum:

The most interesting part was the $50 trust game where a prize of $50 was offered to whoever wrote the largest numbers out of 10 people. The prize of $50 went to the largest number written down and was divided amongst the winners. It was interesting to learn about the whole statistics that went into predictions.

Ryan:

I learned a lot about stats and I also found the maths behind ranking systems very interesting. The best part of the lecture was the mathematical applications of game theory and it showed how human mind-set has such a large effect on outcomes and decisions.

Matthew:

The lecture offered an insightful view into how maths is incorporated into our everyday life and the decisions we make. It was interesting to see how personalities and human characteristics can affect our decisions and its probability.

Tonii:

It was really interesting with the practical demonstrations of statistics. The games were entertaining and the talk was a great supplement to the maths we learn in class.

Mathex

An incredibly fun night was held at Strathallan this week with the first ever ACG senior maths competition taking place for ACG Auckland schools. ACG Sunderland, Parnell and Strathallan all took part and students’ brains were pushed to their limits with very challenging mathematical problems to solve as a team and individually. The thrilling night ended with the two Strathallan teams gaining victory ( Serena Jou, Cindy Lee, Jordan Shore, George Liu, Liam Nelson, Rawiri Mahue, Joshua Sinclair and Astrid Lewis). Many thanks to all participants and the ACG Strathallan Maths faculty for organising such an academically stimulating event which all participants enjoyed.

Club of the Week: Computer Club

The computer club has a great sense of a small community who come together every Wednesday afternoon from 3:20-4:20pm. Mr Reid, the teacher that runs this creates challenging tasks that encourage the club to learn and experiment with different types of tasks. These include using Python, VB and Linux.

This club is perfect for students with an interest in computers or programming to hang out and share ideas with others. There is opportunity to group work and individual work, generally it is self-directed but help is always available when needed.

“It’s good to start easy and progress onto harder code, a great way to make new friends” – Denis Morsin, Year 9

“It’s a nice place for people to socialise and meet others who are interested in computers” – Mr Reid, head of computer club

 

Club of the Week: Model UN

The Model United Nations (MUN) Committee aims to promote MUN at Strathallan by running the annual MUN Conference as well as encouraging students to participate in external MUN Conferences organised by the UN Youth New Zealand organisation.

Basically, Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the real United Nations and it provides a great opportunity for you to engage with others who are passionate about world issues. However, you don’t need to be an expert to attend a conference as you will learn and pick up things along the way. If you are interested in organising the annual Strathallan conference or attending a conference school you can contact the teacher in charge, Mr Scott.

Kim Fowler selected to represent New Zealand in Chemistry Olympiad

Kim Fowler is a passionate year 13 student who is currently studying A level Physics and Chemistry along with AS Art (Painting) and Biology. The Chemistry Olympiad is an international competition where students represent their countries in a Chemistry competition. Every year, New Zealand selects four lucky people to make up a New Zealand team, Kim was chosen to be one of two reserves for this year. Kim explains how she got there:

“In October last year, I sat a test and 120 students were selected to go into a training group. We studied a range of topics and sat another test in March where 30 students were selected for a competition which took place at St Cuthberts and the University of Auckland. It was really intense, starting at 8 o’clock in the morning and finishing late in the night with evening problem questions. We attended lectures and went to labs and covered about a semester of first year university Chemistry in a week! It was really challenging but I enjoyed the opportunity to meet many new people and hopefully all of this will aid me in my future studies beyond school.”

We wish Kim all the best for the next stage and look forward to hearing how she gets on.

Year 8 Maths

Year 8 Maths students are having fun in Maths this week playing ‘guess my number’ using divisibility rules and number properties while Chloe Ross presents her project on special numbers.