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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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West Cumbrian pupils to battle it out in national maths competition final

Four west Cumbrian whiz-kids will battle it out against the country’s top schools in a national maths final next month.

The brainy quartet, who attend Workington Sixth Form Centre, will be pitted against 60 elite teams in the UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) senior team challenge.

The 17-year-old maths maestros are Conner Gorman (Stainburn), Glen Atherton (Stainburn), Ali Beytekin (Stainburn) and Grant Park (Southfield).

The lads won the regional heats for Cumbria and south west Scotland in November, earning them a place in the final at London’s Camden Centre on Tuesday, February 5.

Christopher Kearton, head of maths at Stainburn School, has been tutoring the group and will be helping to prepare them for the intellectual rigours of the challenge.

He said: “I’m very proud of them. They are all studying maths and further maths at A Level.

“But this is more recreational than the exam-based questions and is broadening their horizons.”

He added: “When you get to this sort of level being gifted is not good enough: you have to prepare and work hard.”

Teams from the Sixth Form Centre have been placed in the regional heats before but this was the first time they won through to the final.

The lads are all in the middle of exams at the moment but as soon as they have finished they will preparing every night for the challenge.

Conner said: “I’m excited about it because this is the hardest maths you can do.

“It’s always a fun experience. We have plenty of laughs and we have all become friends because of the maths challenge.”

The final will include a group competition with ten questions followed by a cross number challenge.

Gerald Humes, councillor for Moorclose, has given the group more than £1,000 from his community fund allocation to pay for their trip to London.

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