An exceptional 9-year-old girl named Danielle Boadu has beaten over 450 colleagues of hers to win the “Sum it Up” national maths competition for the Year 3-4 category in the United Kingdom.
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Danielle Boadu, a student of the Heritage Park Primary School in Peterborough, England, was awarded for presenting her unique visual interpretation of how she pictures maths in her school playground.
The “Sum it Up” maths competition was launched in the UK by leading ed-tech provider Renaissance Learning, inviting local primary school children to get creative to mark World Maths Day. The competition is open to al primary school children across the UK and Ireland.
The competition encouraged children to think big about how maths can be found in the everyday and create imaginative artwork showing their vision of where they can see and experience maths in the world around them.
The judges of the competition, including Catherine Magee, UK Teacher of the Year and Kjartan Poskitt, examined over 450 submissions from schools across the UK and Ireland and finally selected Danielle’s visual representation of mathematics as the winner.
The judges were really impressed by the inventive and inspiring ideas in Danielle’s winning entry, with judge Catherine pointing out how Danielle used nature to represent maths through her use of techniques such as addition, shapes and parallel lines.
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Winner Danielle said: “I had fun with my entry because I enjoyed finding all the shapes and patterns in the playground, and drawing the objects that I counted and observed. When I first looked all the things in the playground looked normal but then I looked closer and thought about all the things we had learnt in maths and I thought ‘wow, I can see all of the patterns.”
Danielle’s teacher, Nina Edenbrow, added: “I’m so pleased for Danielle. She made some fantastic mathematical observations and recorded her findings very carefully. We examined our school environment and it was fascinating for the children to see the maths in nature – the symmetry was a particular surprise for many children as I think they imagined nature to be rather ‘haphazard’ but they could see how an understanding of number and shape could help them to create art.”
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With designs featuring maths represented through the children’s interests such as horse boxes, football pitches, gardens, supermarkets and even superheroes, five entries from budding artists across the country were chosen as winners. The artistic talents of the winners has won Danielle and her fellow artists a Kindle Fire and a year’s subscription to Renaissance’s Freckle and Star Maths practice and assessment solutions for their class or school. Winning entries may also appear as future ‘Depth of Knowledge’ questions in Freckle, and every entrant will receive a certificate to thank them for taking part.
Catherine Magee, Teacher of the Year in a Primary School Silver Winner and Head Judge for the competition, said: “I was delighted to be involved in judging the entries received from schools and I took great enjoyment in looking through all the wonderful entries. All the children had taken such care and attention in creating their visual representation of maths. It’s so important that we engage children in maths in an exciting and accessible way and this competition has given teachers and pupils the tools to do that.”
Sarah Haythornthwaite, Marketing Director at Renaissance Learning, said: “We were so impressed by the quality of the competition entries. It’s clear that all the children who entered had great fun thinking about how maths is all around us in everyday life. With energy and ideas like Danielle’s, it’s great to see how children are taking ownership of their learning by connecting maths to their everyday experiences.
“We’re also proud to be supporting teachers and schools with their mission to keep pupils excited about learning maths,” she added.