Students with a passion for maths made sure the first and second prizes in an elite national maths contest were carried home by two IES schools.
IES Nacka came first and IES Uppsala second in Pythagoras Quest, a maths contest for students up to and including grade nine. IES Sundsvall also made it to the national final, having triumphed over competition from their region to be one of the top 16 teams in Sweden.
The popular annual maths competition focuses on students working together in group of three. The competition sees students compete within their school to make the school’s team before facing off against other schools in their region (län). The winning teams are then invited to Malmö Borgarskola to compete in the national final.
Eighth-grade student Willhelm Sigurd was part of the winning team from IES Nacka alongside ninth-graders Viktor Lundqvist and Alex Thelander.
He said: “We were very satisfied with what we did during the competition and we thought our score would be high enough for making us one of the top teams. We thought we had a chance to win, and we obviously hoped that was the case. When the results began to be announced and we got to know some of the scores the top teams had, we realized it was looking good for us, and that made us excited. When we got to know we were the winners, we obviously got very happy and relieved.
"The questions were challenging, we had to work hard with them, but that is how it is supposed to be. I think the competition was at a good difficulty level this year.”
While the team from Nacka claimed victory, their counterparts from Uppsala also performed fantastically as the team, made up of Vilgot Jansson, Lise Hanebring and David Mörtberg, managed to take the second place in the contest.
The double-victory in the contest follows an increased focus on the subject of mathematics within IES.
Ted Buzzelli, the organisation's subject facilitator for mathematics, said: "Congratulations to all three teams who took part in the final of Pythagoras Quest this year, this really is a fantastic achievement both in terms of teamwork on the competition day and the years of great preparation beforehand.
"We are always working to improve the quality of the maths tuition in our schools - that is something that benefits every student, as can be seen in the way that a far higher percentage of our students achieve top grades in the national tests for mathematics, as well as fantastic results like this. Not everyone can go on to win a competition like this, but at IES we strive to participate and prepare as though we will. We also want to enjoy the time we spend doing this."
Recently maths teachers from across the organisation were brought together for an inspirational session with maths speaker Matt Parker at IES Kista. The main focus of this event was to explore fun and exciting methods that will enable our students to more easily enjoy and learn maths.
Damian Brunker, the organisation’s head of academics said. “We are committed to helping out teaching staff develop and grow. Events like this lead to energised teachers and new ideas in the classroom. When teachers are at the top of their game, it is the students who benefit. This event saw 104 teachers thoroughly inspired and this inspiration will be passed along to thousands of our students."
Gold and Silver: (Pictured at top of page L-R) The winning trio of Alex Thelander Y9, Viktor Lundqvist Y9, and Wilhelm Sigurd Y8, from IES Nacka and runners up Vilgot Jansson Y9, Lise Hanebring Y9, David Mörtberg Y7 of IES Uppsala.