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Youngsters have fun with maths

This week will see school pupils from all over the city of Aberdeen compete in a variety of mathematical challenges being hosted by the University of Aberdeen.

It is hoped that the third regional Enterprising Mathematics Challenge competition for primary school pupils will enthuse the 11 and 12 year-olds at tomorrow’s event (Wednesday, March 23).

The event has been organised to promote maths as a source of interest and pleasurable achievement particularly amongst younger children and to encourage enthusiasm in the subject.

Over 70 school pupils from Aberdeen City primary schools will compete in a variety of mathematical games and problems taking place in Elphinstone Hall, at the University of Aberdeen. The five ‘challenges’ will involve producing a poster, as well as a variety of maths puzzles. All activities are against the clock with the final relay challenge providing a spectacular climax to a day of mathematics.

Helen Martin, Lecturer in Mathematics Education at the University and one of the Event Organisers, is looking forward to the event. She said: “We are really hoping to enthuse the youngsters about mathematics in a fun and informative way. This is an exciting opportunity to make available to primary schools a very successful competition that was previously only open to secondary pupils. We had great feedback from the schools who participated in last year’s event and have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response from schools this year.”

Jackie Lamont, Curriculum Support Teacher for Maths (5-14), said: “We are pleased to be working in conjunction with the University of Aberdeen and SETPOINT Scotland North on this, the third Enterprising Mathematics Challenge for primary schools. We have been overwhelmed by the response from the City schools and the primary six and seven pupils from the 24 schools taking part have an interesting and exciting day ahead. The emphasis is on having fun and working together, and we hope that the day proves to be as successful as the secondary challenges we have run in the past and will improve their mathematical thinking skills.”
All primary schools in Aberdeen have been invited to enter a team of three Primary 6 or Primary 7 pupils to take part in this year’s challenge. All participants will receive certificates of participation with prizes awarded for the best poster and the overall winning team will be presented with the Challenge trophy.

Vivien Ellins, SETPOINT Scotland North Co-ordinator, added: “We are delighted to be taking part again in the Enterprising Mathematics Challenge. From creative work to problem solving and strategy this event illustrates the enjoyment that can be found in mathematics.”
The event is jointly organised by the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council and SETPOINT Scotland North with additional funding from the Edinburgh Mathematical Society. The event began two years ago and is now an annual competition open to primary schools across the city of Aberdeen.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Members of the media are invited to attend the Enterprising Mathematics Challenge on Wednesday, March 23, at any time between 10am and 2pm, in Elphinstone Hall, at the University of Aberdeen. Please report to Vivien Ellins on arrival or you can call to arrange on: (01224) 274189.

1. The third primary school Enterprising Mathematics Challenge will take place on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 at Elphinstone Hall, University of Aberdeen from 10am-2pm.

2. Further information on the event is available from Helen Martin on tel: (01224) 274769 or email:

3. Further information on SETPOINT Scotland North is available from Fiona Jefferson, tel: (01224) 274348, email: or website:

4. Further information on the Edinburgh Mathematical Society is available from Dr Penny Davies, tel: (0141) 548 3416, email: or website:

5. If you would like to take a virtual tour of the University of Aberdeen visit:


Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Tuesday 22nd of February 2005

Ref: 1630maths
Contact: Angela Ferguson

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