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Prep students writing higher level math contests

Upper Canada College Prep students from Grade 5 on annually take part in a variety of math contests, including the Canadian Math League, Fibonacci, Pythagoras and Gauss competitions. But this year the Prep and Upper School math departments have joined forces to give Grade 6 and 7 boys an opportunity to showcase their problem-solving skills by competing in higher level contests at the Upper School.

“Boys have already started applying for this opportunity and look forward to expressing their mathematical creativity,” said Prep math head Scott Manning.

Thirty-one UCC students took the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge on Nov. 6, up from 18 last year, and all but one of them were from the Upper School. The lone exception was Grade 7 student Richard Kwok, who counts math as one of his favourite subjects and said he entered “because I wanted to challenge myself and have an opportunity to look at math at a higher level.”

Students with the top 50 scores will go on to write the Sun Life Financial Canadian Mathematical Olympiad and may be selected as part of the six-student team that will travel to compete in the International Mathematical Olympiad. But even if a boy doesn’t make the top 50, he may still be eligible for awards, scholarships and camps.

“I thought the questions in the contest were very difficult in a fun way,” said Kwok, who looks forward to participating in more competitions. “The contest really got me thinking. I do not have high expectations for the contest, as I only want to gain experience for the future.”

UCC Math Select

The elite UCC Math Select math competition training program is another way the Upper School is inspiring younger students across Toronto to compete in the math test arena. Upper School math department chair Deirdre Timusk and former Canadian Math Olympiad champion Byung Chun train proficient math students — boys and girls — in Grades 5 through 9. The weekly evening program is wrapping up its first session this month, and a new six-week session will start in February.

UCC Math Select participant and Grade 7 student Nikil Ismail has signed up for the AMC 8 math competition later this month.

Computer Science Education Week

Grade 8 students will run an “Hour of Code” during math classes on Dec. 11 as part of a North American initiative to expose young people to computer science. You can find out more, and see some famous supporters of the campaign, in this video. Learn more about Computer Science Education Week here.

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