This week (8th February) will see Year 10 pupils combine their Mathematical problem solving skills with raising money for charity.

During their double period of Mathematics, pupils will work in groups, to solve eight problems related to Mathematics and Latin America. They are asked to donate £1 to raise money for the charity Children in Crossfire.

Five years of using maths for charity

Since 2010 this competition was known as the LASCO Maths Challenge. Over the last 5 years children from schools all over Ireland, UK and abroad have collaborated and competed together to raise more than £40,000 for the impoverished street children of South America. This money has provided invaluable support to LASCO funded projects in Lima and Sao Paulo, where street children are now living in safe and caring environments, with genuine hope and belief that they can have a better quality of life. These projects deliver education and healthcare to help these children build a future for themselves and their families.

Schools have entered more than 40,000 pupils for this Challenge to date and many have returned year after year, making it a key maths event in their annual calendar. To engage more schools and grow this competition to a point where it can begin to realise its true potential, we have partnered with Children in Crossfire.

Working with Children in Crossfire not only means we can sustain our level of support  committed to the Street Children of South America, but means we can also provide much needed support for children in need, in many other parts of the world.

As a Mathematics department we value the experience that this challenge gives our pupils, both to increase their critical mathematical thinking and to encourage them to think about children throughout the world, who are enduring hardship and poverty.  It is a fun time and there is always a keen sense of competition as each class has to submit their own answers and will be pitched against, not just other classes in Northern Ireland, but also against the other year 10 classes in our school.

Here is a little taster of the sort of questions they will be facing: