Some of the brightest young minds in the Cayman Islands gathered to demonstrate their problem-solving prowess as they competed in the 11th annual Minds Inspired Maths Challenge last week.
Held at the University College of the Cayman Islands, from 16-17 November, the event brought together a total of 175 high school students from 10 public and private schools in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.
The top overall winner in the Junior challenge was Jonty Rogers, a Year 8 student from Cayman Prep & High School. Ramon Rayos del Sol, a Year 13 student from St. Ignatius Catholic School took home the honours as overall winner in the Senior challenge.
On the opening day, 86 students aged 11-14 in the Junior category put their skills to the test, firstly in an individual challenge, then a school team challenge and finally, mixed teams of students from different schools joining forces for a fun and competitive final round of problem solving. The interschool team challenge for the Junior division ended in a tie between two-time defending champions Cayman International School and Cayman Prep & High School.
The following day was the Senior Maths Challenge with 89 students aged 15-18 taking part in individual and mixed team contests, where their knowledge and teamwork skills were put to the test.
“STEM education, and mathematics in particular, is vital to preparing our youth for the dynamic world in which we live and positions them well for the ever-evolving world of work that they will be entering,” said Glenda McTaggart, Dart’s senior manager for education programmes.
“Problem-solving skills are at the heart of success in any educational and professional pursuits that they will have, so to see the enthusiasm with which they tackled the challenges posed to them was inspirational.”
Senior Challenge participants also learned about the many career options available to students with a strong interest in maths. Seven Actuaries – who are members of the Cayman International Reinsurance Company Association (CIRCA) – presented on topics such as: what Actuaries do and the skills and traits they need, how you become an actuary, and the industries that the 40+ actuaries living and working in the Cayman Islands are employed in.
Participating schools were John Gray High School, Clifton Hunter High School, Layman E. Scott Sr. High School, Triple C School, Cayman International School, Grace Christian Academy, Clever Fish, Cayman Prep & High School, St. Ignatius Catholic School and Calvary Baptist Christian Academy. Flights between Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman for the Layman E. Scott Sr. High School students are sponsored annually by Dart.
Launched by Dart in 2013, the Minds Inspired Maths Challenge initially focused on upper-grade students but has grown due to demand to include students from junior years.
In addition to Minds Inspired and its various STEM initiatives, including the Maths Challenge and robotics competitions, Dart also rewards high-performing Caymanian students with high school and university scholarships through the Dart Scholar programme. Two Dart Scholars participated in the 2023 Minds Inspired Maths Challenge: Jake Fagan of Cayman Prep and High School, who was the Year 11/Grade10 individual winner, and Sirichandana (Siri) Batta of Layman E. Scott Sr. High School.
Full results of the 2023 Minds Inspired Maths Challenge are as follows:
• Overall winner: Jonty Rogers, Cayman Prep and High School
• Grade 8/Year 9 winner: Logan McFarlane, Cayman Prep and High School
• Grade 7/Year 8 winner: Samson Hulse, St. Ignatius Catholic School
• Grade 6/Year 7 winner: Kavya Punjabi, St. Ignatius Catholic School
• Mixed team winners: Jessica Dawson, Cayman Prep and High School; Kylen McLean, John Gray High School; Rejoice Muchoko, Triple C School.
• School team winners: Cayman Prep and High School and Cayman International School (tie)
Cayman Prep and High School: Joshua Haag, Eze Vassell, Ava Short, Nina de Saram, Jonty Rogers, Srinivas Nidval, Jaylon Dixon, Logan McFarlane, Jessica Dawson and Riley Watson.
Cayman International School: Lennox Turnham-Wheatley, Owen Limberger, Margaux Gleeson, Cooper Nelson, Sophia Paul, Anna Oldfield, Alex Johnson, Ana Curnock, Ferris Lovett and Ella Galatopoulos.
• Overall winner: Ramon Rayos del Sol, (Year 13) St. Ignatius Catholic School
• Grade 12/Year 13 winner: Malikai Weatherford, St. Ignatius Catholic School
• Grade 11/Year 12 winner: Zach Garnett, Cayman Prep and High School
• Grade 10/Year 11 winner: Jake Fagan, Cayman Prep and High School
• Grade 9/Year 10 winner: Ricardo Reis, Cayman Prep and High School
• Mixed team winners: Will Sellars, Cayman Prep and High School; Alex Irons, Clever Fish School; and Jordanya Burke, John Gray High School.
The next Minds Inspired Mathematics Challenge is scheduled for 14-15 November 2024.
For more about Minds Inspired visit www.mindsinspired.ky .