The Year 7 Mathematics Extension Club (MEXI) and Year 8 Mathematics Extension Club (Number Ninjas) have been hard at work this Semester completing both the Australian Problem-Solving Mathematics Olympiad (APSMO) and the Mathematics Challenge.
The requirements for APSMO are that students have to compete in four competitions over the course of the year. Each competition involves five complex problem-solving questions completed in 30 minutes. The students train for this by completing similar problem-solving questions during their fortnightly meeting at lunch break. Here they are given strategies so that they can build up a problem-solving toolkit which they can then apply to any context. Students are encouraged to focus on their problem-solving techniques and then evaluate how they can improve their strategies going forward.
The Mathematics Challenge is developed by the Australian Mathematics Trust. It involves six challenging questions which the students complete over a four week period. OLMC has three groups of students completing the Challenge: the Brainstretching class in Year 9, MEXI and the Number Ninjas. The Challenge questions start with application of the context to develop understanding and then extends to explanations of general case solutions. This can be particularly challenging.
An example of one of the Challenge questions from a previous year: