The hall of St Xavierâ€™s School was abuzz. The air was charged with excitement on the afternoon of September 2. Students from various schools in and around the Valley had gathered to witness the Third National Horlicks Mathematics Quiz 2006 organised by the Kathmandu University High School and sponsored by GlaxoSmithkline. Dr Bhadra Man Tuladhar was the chief guest.
The programme started with a number of hiccups (courtesy technical problems), however once the quiz got underway, everyone in the hall forgot everything except the complex Mathematical questions asked.
And the duo from Gautam Secondary School, Birgunj managed to win the trophy and a cash prize of Rs 25,000 in a nailbiting tie-breaker. Gautam school and KUHS were tied at 80 points each when they went in for the tie-breaker. Along with the wrong answer given by KUHS team, they handed over the championship to the school from Birgunj.
The Maths quiz was started in 2004 and over 200 schools had participated in it then. The second years saw an increase in participation with 550 schools participating; this year over 700 schools had participated in it. The final was held between four schools â€” KUHS, Kavre, Gautam school, Birgunj, Bright Land Higher Secondary School, Nepalgunj and Moonlight English Boarding School, Janakpur.
Quizmaster Suman Bandhu Koirala was in his element. His simple and logical explanations to many of the solutions really made Maths easy and interesting for all gathered.
The contest had six rounds â€” Fifty-fifty, Alternative, Blinker, Estimation, Rapid fire and Open. Each round was followed by an audience round in which the questions were thrown to the audience. And were our students smart. A number of them won a bottle of Horlicks each for each correct answer. Even those questions that had tricked those on stage were answered by the students in the audience. Do we have a generation of mathematicians coming up?
Gautam schoolâ€™s Maths teacher Roshan Gurung expressed his happiness at seeing his students being crowned the â€œMaths whiz-kids of the nationâ€ and that probably students back in Birgunj can expect a holiday tomorrow.
First runner-up KUHS walked home with a cash prize of Rs 15,000, while second runner-up Bright Land received Rs 10,000, and the consolation prize of Rs 5,000 was won by Moonlight school. All finalists received trophies and certificates.
The aim of the Maths quiz is to select and encourage young mathematicians and especially to make Maths fun.