Two Year 7 mathematicians from Nottingham Girls’ High School had the huge privilege of representing a ten-strong team at the world finals of the Jaguar ‘Maths in Motion’ challenge at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire on Wednesday 21 June.
Jitong Yi and Jessica Abrams, along with eight of their teammates, had worked hard during Maths Club sessions on this amazing challenge which is now in its sixteenth year.
The challenge, created by car manufacturing giants Jaguar Land Rover, aims to engage and motivate young people and show them some of the practical uses of maths in the real world, and also prove to them that maths can be fun.
Using ‘Cloud’ based software that simulates the setting up of a racing car, the girls had to complete a series of STEM relevant tasks in an effort to produce the perfect ‘virtual’ car. This activity involved a wide range of basic mathematical skills, some practical, being used and applied in order to design and make their car.
The girls also had to use their mathematical skills, without the aid of a calculator or any other form of assistance, to work their way through a whole range of issues relating to motor racing in order to become race ready.
Grand Prix style races then took place throughout the year resulting in the girls from Nottingham Girls’ High School reaching the finals along with twelve other teams not only from the UK, but from as far afield as China and Australia.
The girls were very excited to be representing their team at the finals, and were also representing one of only two girls’ schools present. Over 100,000 students registered to take part in the contest, making it a real achievement to get through to this stage.
The girls enjoyed the experience very much and having started 30th on the grid, managed to overtake some of the competition to move up the leader board finishing in 21st place, and came 10th out of 14 in the senior section. This is quite an accomplishment given that they are still just in Year 7 and it was a WORLD final.
Teacher Eileen Thorne, who accompanied the girls on the trip said: “I was very proud of the way the girls conducted themselves and handled the different mathematical calculations under pressure to submit their car in under 1 and a half hours.”
Brian Richardson who is the Chief co-ordinator of the Maths in Motion programme congratulated the girls on their impeccable behaviour, giving the school another reason to be so proud of the girls who were such great ambassadors.
Head, Julie Keller added: “I am so proud of the whole team, and of Jessica and Jitong who represented them. Their passion for Maths and STEM subjects is inspiring and their success in getting through to a world class final is phenomenal and deserves to be congratulated. Well done girls”