The Reporter
No 490, 19 May 2003
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Thousands face the numbers challenge


Maths challenges organised by the University now have over half a million pupils taking part, raising interest in the subject in secondary schools across the UK. The challenge administrators are moving into larger premises on campus, to cope with the expansion.

The junior maths challenge for pupils aged 11-13 remains the most popular, with just under a quarter of a million entrants this year from over 3,200 schools and colleges across the UK. In 1997, just over 130,000 took part in the challenge, which is run in late April.

The intermediate challenge for pupils aged 13-16 had just over 200,000 entrants this year from 2,700 schools in the UK. The senior challenge is run in November for pupils aged 16-18, and had over 60,000 entrants in 2002 from 1,500 schools.
Some of the highest scoring pupils from the senior challenge are chosen to represent the UK in the international mathematics olympiad.

The top 40% of all maths challenge entrants receive a gold, silver or bronze certificate.

The UK Mathematics Trust, which runs the challenges, handles nearly 100,000 items of mail each year. They recently opened a new packing and processing office in the school of physics and astronomy, which was officially opened by Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Wilson.


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