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We’ve just completed our online Summer Challenge week, with over 900 Year 9 students from around the Yorkshire and the Humber region and beyond participating. Repeating the event each morning, we ‘broadcast’ into classrooms using Zoom, setting students a series of ‘live’ questions which they then anonymously submit answers to through an online platform called Itempool. If you’ve not used Itempool before, I definitely recommend it for use in your classroom!

We also put together a series of questions on Desmos which students are invited to work through in groups of 2 or 3 between our live questioning rounds. With two different versions available for teachers to opt into, students have been appropriately challenged all week. We’d like to thank the UK Mathematics Trust for inspiring us with ideas for questions. Their past Junior and Intermediate Challenge papers are an absolute treasure trove of mathematical diversions!

Below is one of my favourite questions this week. After a little bit of thought, students have had no problem finding the answer. But there’s some lovely underlying maths that begins to reveal itself when you, for example, add an additional line from the apex. And, as an extension, do you get similar or different results when you begin counting rectangles instead of triangles?

We’re planning to run a similar block of online events for Year 9 students across the Yorkshire and the Humber region once a term in the 2022/23 academic year. Please contact your local Area Coordinator to discuss how your school can get involved or if you’d like us to run a bespoke event for you.

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