National Math Olympics

13/01/2021

Phenumeral talent: Trojans stand out at National Math Olympics

For most students, math represents the most difficult subject in the school year. Sometimes it seems like another language, complex to understand, but for some, mathematical operations are like a native language that they understand easily.

This is the case of elementary school students Marianne Fernández, third grade, and Valentina Cañas Peralta, fifth grade. They won 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, in the Costa Rican Mathematics Olympiad, which was organized by the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) and held virtually.

Marianne commented that she is happy and proud after achieving a distinguished participation in the Olympics. How not? Hard work and discipline were key to obtaining that privileged position because she had to get up early, make an effort and divide her time into her various facets since besides of being a student she is also a violinist and gymnast.

“I got up at 5:00 am to practice the violin, then I bathed, have breakfast and went to virtual classes, during breaks and lunch I did my homework. Then I would go to gymnastics training at my academy every afternoon and would come home to study math until the evening. Also, on Saturdays and Sundays I did a lot of practice”, mentioned this Trojan.

Valentina reflected on the importance of math in student education and explained that since she was a child she has had an affinity for numbers. She assures that math is challenging, as well as important for life because it is necessary to achieve goals.

“It means a lot because I feel like I’m representing the school,” said Valentina after winning third place in the Olympics.

Our high school student, Enrique Chen, also participated in the Olympics. This Senior obtained an honorable mention in recognition of his participation in this competition.

Could it be that there is a secret method or a hidden trick to master mathematics? Enrique answered this question and the truth is that there are no shortcuts or extraordinary ways to be good at numbers. Like everything in life, effort and patience are the necessary elements to achieve success.

He started 2020 by preparing to participate in the Olympics, that is, 6 months before the first elimination round began. In addition, he participated in the 2019 edition, so he already had previous experience that helped him to perform better.

“The fact that I was able to participate the first year pushed me more towards math. Before the Olympics, I excelled in class but didn’t feel like I was doing much. This gave me more motivation to try math not because of an exam but because I want to, it has given me more interest in math”, Chen assured.

During the final phase, the participants had to connect to the Zoom platform to show the resolution process in the exercises presented and how they got the answers.

These Olympics bring together hundreds of students from various educational centers in the country. The competition consists of several qualifying stages to select the most outstanding mathematical problem solvers.