On Thursday March 2nd, eleven students from Poetry and Rhetoric along with Mr Stephen O’Hara took part in the East Midlands regional competition of the Irish Applied Maths Teachers Association Senior Applied Mathematics quiz. Marc Bollee, Cormac Watson and Conor Galvin finished in first place while Billy Minch, Connell Kennelly and Michael Colivet came in second. Both teams progressed to the All-Ireland final of the competition, which was held in Portlaoise on Saturday (see report below), March 11th. School Captain and team member, Conor Galvin reports…
With only seven days to prepare for the All-Ireland Final Quiz, both teams practiced frequently under the tutelage of Mr. O’Hara over the course of that week. Each night we studied past questions from the event – always working against the clock. We then checked our answers, and were tasked with ensuring that we rectified the answer to any question that we got wrong and would be able to answer a similar question if it were asked again.
On Saturday March 11th, both teams, along with Mr O’Hara, headed to the Laois Education Centre in Portlaoise for the All-Ireland final. There were twelve teams competing, hailing from – inter alia – Cork, Dublin, Kildare and Kilkenny. The format of the quiz had shifted slightly from the regional final, with this quiz consisting of six rounds of three questions, with each round lasting eight minutes.
After four rounds both Clongowes teams, were in contention, with one of the teams in second place only a single mark behind the leaders. After two final tense rounds, the result was revealed with the team of Marc Bollee, Cormac Watson and Conor Galvin in second place, and the team of Billy Minch, Michael Colivet and Connell Kennelly finishing in fourth place.
On behalf of all those involved, we would like to again sincerely thank Mr. Stephen O’Hara for giving of his time to help us in the evenings leading up to the quiz and working through the past questions, which was undoubtedly a huge part of Clongowes success in the competition, with two teams in the top four out of over a hundred entered nationwide.
East Midlands Regional Competition
In the build up to the event, those taking part had spent a number of evenings working through the past paper questions with Mr Stephen O’Hara, and getting used to the type of questions that are asked and the speed at which they have to be completed. The questions focused on the Applied Maths Leaving Cert syllabus as well as including a number of logic questions, which challenged the mathematical reasoning of those taking part and often proved to be very challenging
In the quiz itself, there were eight rounds each containing three questions, and we had either six or eight minutes to answer the questions depending on the difficulty of the round. This time pressure was a very different experience from what we were used to, especially as all of us in Rhetoric had just finished our Mock Exams, many of which lasted three hours!
Armed with this preparation, teams from Clongowes finished in 1st and 2nd place after the eight rounds of questions in Newbridge, with Marc Bollee, Cormac Watson and Conor Galvin finishing in first place while Billy Minch, Connell Kennelly and Michael Colivet came in second. Both teams will now progress to the All-Ireland final of the competition, which will be held in Portlaoise next Saturday, the 11th March. There were also two other teams competing from Clongowes, with Jack Spicer and Jack O’Sullivan competing as a team and Patrick O’Brien, Colm Murphy and Liam Lysaght making up the final team.
On behalf of all those involved, I would like to sincerely thank Mr Stephen O’Hara for giving of his time to help us in the evenings leading up to the quiz and also for bringing us to Newbridge on the night. This practice gave us a great insight into what the quiz would be like and undoubtedly contributed to the success of all of our teams taking part, alongside all of the day-to-day work, which Mr. O’Hara has put into teaching Applied Maths in Clongowes.