PRESS RELEASE – The Bank of Saint Lucia Mad About Math Competition came to a fever-pitched climax with four students vying for the coveted title of 2014 Mathematics Champion.
The competition targeted fourth and fifth form students and challenged them to “think outside the box” in solving math problems. Fifteen schools, each represented by one student, participated in the preliminary round.
The problem-solving exam was devised by math genius, Javed Samuel, who came up with the idea for the competition. Ahead of the finals, Javed hosted a workshop for all participants via Skype.
BOSL Mad About Math was launched during Mathematics Month in November of 2013 and endorsed by the Ministry of Education. The main objectives were to stimulate the learning and understanding of mathematics concepts and to support students in using these concepts in a wide range of practical applications. The competition was designed to promote excitement, enthusiasm and positive attitudes towards mathematics.
Mathematics Prodigy Toussaint Jervais won the first ever BOSL National Mathematics Competition – Mad About Math. He out-performed the other finalists to emerge as St. Lucia’s Mathematics Whiz Kid.
Toussaint, who attained a CXC distinction in mathematics in 2013, and is a Form 5 student of the SDA Academy, was home-schooled by his mom, who is also a teacher. He entered secondary school in Form 3 at age 11. When quizzed about his future plans, Toussaint said he has his eyes set on becoming an astronaut and venture into space someday.
Second place in the BOSL National Mathematics Competition – Mad About Math – was captured by Sancha Annius of Choiseul Secondary. In third place was Alexi Charles of Leon Hess Secondary School with Peter Moyston of Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary in fourth place.
The concept behind Mad About math was developed by Javed Samuel. A few years ago, he started a Mathematics Problem Solving Competition at his alma mater, the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School.
Javed attained amasters in applied mathematics from Oxford University, UK. He is currently a senior security consultant focusing on web and mobile application security at iSEC Partners, a premier computer security consulting firm, and also serves as assistant chief examiner for CSEC Additional Mathematics.
The judges for the competition comprised a panel of mathematics teachers from across the various educational districts. The competition was well supported by students, teachers and CAMDU officials – the Curriculum Specialist for Mathematics, Jonella Giffard, and Education Officer Angela Mariatte.
Participating schools included Choiseul Secondary, Castries Comprehensive, Leon Hess Comprehensive, St. Joseph’s Convent, St. Mary’s College, Micoud Secondary, Vieux Fort Comprehensive, Sir Ira Simmons Secondary, Bocage Secondary, Vide Bouteille Secondary, SDA Academy, Piaye Secondary, Corinth Secondary, Entrepot Secondary, and Marigot Secondary.
Bank of Saint Lucia collaborated closely with the Ministry of Education, the UWI Open Campus, CAMDU and the local media in coordinating this initiative, with creative direction and conceptualising provided by the Orange Media Group. Mad About Math forms part of the overall commitment of Bank of Saint Lucia and the ECFH Group to the educational development of St. Lucia’s young people.
The Finals of Mad About Math was hosted by Omari Frederick, assistant manager- corporate communications and customer care of ECFH with Mineva Ross of the Orange Media Group as producer.