540 students from grades 5 to 12 at herzogenaurach high school prove that mathematics can be fun. 31 of them have now been awarded prizes for their outstanding performance in the so-called kanguru competition. For more than 15 years, head teachers heike duthorn and astrid dobler have been committed to showing schoolchildren that mathematics is not just about calculating or learning formulas, but also about finding answers to tricky questions.
The award ceremony was also attended by the visibly proud principal norbert schell, who had a surprise for the 31 best-ranked participants. They spend an extra day hiking with the two teachers to the "tower of the senses" to nurnberg goes. Five students were awarded first place, 14 second place and twelve third place.
"It is an event that supports mathematical education in schools, awakens and consolidates the joy of dealing with mathematics and, through the range of interesting tasks, challenges independent work and work in the classroom", astrid dobler explained the concept. "The competition makes us see our students once again with completely different eyes than in normal math lessons", principal norbert schell is pleased with the gymnasium’s great participation in the competition round. Competitions often reveal previously undiscovered talents, notes the principal.
The two teachers were proud of daniel kreiner from the twelfth grade, who, despite the oral examinations for his school-leaving certificate, also "incidentally" won the first prize in the competition took part in the competition and won second prize. "This is our "model school", the two math teachers noted. It is very gratifying that individual high school graduates – despite abistress – consciously decide to take part in this competition. Since they have participated year after year since the fifth grade, this is simply part of school life for them in their final year as well.
The number of participants is rising steadily
"The competition is booming, no doubt because so many schools are really enjoying it", says heike duthorn. In germany, just under 200 schools took part in the kanguru competition in its first year in 1995; this year there were around 906,000 participants from 10,950 schools. The competition is a multiple-choice competition with a variety of tasks for puzzling, digging, calculating and guessing, which is intended above all to awaken interest in mathematics. The organizers hope to break down, or at least scratch, the fear that schoolchildren often have of the serious, rigorous, dry nature of mathematics.
The idea for the competition originated in australia (1978) and was brought to france by two french math teachers. In honor of the australian inventor, it was named "kangourou des mathematiques" (kanguru of mathematics). Among other things, each participant receives a certificate, the prizes are experiment kits, interesting strategic games, challenging mathematical puzzles and many books. In addition, the (very) best from grades 9 and 10 are invited to international math camps. Cultural and educational stays for the best from secondary level II.