Teamwork at the UNIS HS Internal Olympic Math Competition

On December 6th of 2020, the UNIS mathematics community held an internal high school math competition in B8B for all the math-loving high school students. 

The event was suggested by the UNIS math teachers as a replacement for the Hanoi Math Olympiad, a mathematics event that UNIS students could not attend due to COVID restrictions. A total of 29 high school students participated. They were divided into 7 teams of 4-5 students from different grades: the Creepers, Floater, Biters, Geeks, Walkers, Lurkers, and Roamers. and went through 4 rounds of math activity. 

Students were very excited to join the Math Olympiad for various reasons: Doy Kim, one of the 10th grade participants explained that “I joined the competition because I was interested in math and I wanted to face challenges by participating in the competition.” 

Other participants said that they joined because they wanted to know if they were capable of answering different types of math questions. Most of the students saw the competition as a great opportunity to cooperate and learn. Although the UNIS students could not participate in the annual local Hanoi Math Olympiad due to COVID-19 restrictions, students could still get the chance to work together and challenge themselves in this UNIS internal competition. 

Students faced various challenges while solving math problems of varying levels of difficulty in teams. A 10th-grade participant explained that “It was hard to collaborate with the teammates at the start since we were all in different grades and did not know each other well”. But she added that “as we went through the rounds, our teamwork got better and this allowed us to work together.” 

Many students also commented that they thought it would not be as fun as the usual in big math competitions but they said that it turned out to be more fun. The math competition was zombie-themed: students had to save humanity by answering math questions, which would consequently kill zombies. This interesting storyline allowed students to focus on the competition and really enjoy it in its entirety. 

Many UNIS math teachers worked together to organize the event and fund the supplies. Although the questions were sent by the Hanoi Math Olympiad, they came up with the zombie storyline to add fun points to the competition. The questions were organized into four rounds with fun activities including anagrams, paper airplane games, mini rounds around the school, and finally some safe nerf gun action. Out of 7 teams, team biters and creepers had won and they received donut medals and winner certificates from UNIS. 

All the participants enjoyed this competition and the students were glad that they could still do an internal math competition during a pandemic. Competitions like these are important because they provide a great opportunity for students who are looking to challenge themselves and advance in math. It teaches them different skills such as teamwork which is helpful in the long run.