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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Maths and paper aeroplanes take off in Scotland

maths & paper

What do you get if you mix 104 15- and 16-year-old high school pupils, 35 maths teachers from 26 schools, 26 paper aeroplanes, and a day of maths challenges? The ‘Lothians Enterprising Maths Challenge’.

Sponsored by the Scottish Board of the IFoA, this annual competition brings together S3 and S4 maths stars from around Edinburgh and the Lothians to compete and become eligible to compete in the national final in November at the Glasgow Science Centre. 

With challenges ranging from designing a poster to describe the mathematics of flight, to relay races while answering maths puzzles, to designing a paper aeroplane to fly the longest distance (20 metres), the day ‘flew by’. 

Commenting on the day, Alan Watson, leader of the Scottish Board, said: “Seeing so many young mathematicians having such fun with maths was amazing. The enthusiasm and ingenuity was overwhelming and made me realise the future of mathematics is in good hands in Scotland. Now all we have to do is to get a number of them to think about becoming actuaries!”

The National Final of the Enterprising Maths Challenge is sponsored by the IFoA and will be held on 15 November. The competition sees over 60 teams from all over Scotland come together for a day of maths challenges and puzzles.