Winning numbers: OLR students top state in maths challenge

Finding bold ways to create a level playing field and reduce their school’s electricity usage has earned students at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School Fairfield first place in a state-wide Maths challenge.

The teams of five students in Years 5 and 6 displayed confidence and mathematical skill in their MANSW 2019 Investigating Mathematics Challenge entries to win the group categories for their grades and become finalists in the national competition.

Working to reduce our school electricity bill was a rollercoaster of calculations.

– Jayden Cao

Year 5 students Chau Nguyen, Louis Pham, Leon Shi, Felix Pittiglio and Aiden Lam worked out how to extend and level their school’s grass playground, with an unused plot of council land next door a part of their calculations. They estimate they would need $100,000 and the land to make it a reality. “I felt like a real engineer solving a genuine problem,” said Felix.

The Year 6 team researched the efficiency of different light bulbs, air-conditioners and solar panels to find a more environmentally friendly and cost effective way to power their school. They contacted local businesses for information and built a website to showcase their investigation. “Working to reduce our school electricity bill was a rollercoaster of calculations which was surprisingly enjoyable for such a difficult task,” said team member Jayden Cao.

Principal Jackie Vella said students identified as gifted in Mathematics in Years 1 to 4 completed challenges similar those the Years 5 and 6 competition teams solved to extend their learning. The students used research, technology and financial literacy skills to complete their projects, which they will present at a showcase for parents next term.

“We were very excited to receive the news that each team had been awarded first place in NSW as this is the first year we had entered the competition,” Mrs Vella said. “The students were especially thrilled as they had put a lot of time and effort into their projects.”

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