AIMSSEC offered a helping hand to one of its stakeholders, SAMF (South Africa Mathematics Foundation). The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is the World Championship Mathematics Competition for High School students held annually in different countries. The Olympiad has expanded to over 100 countries from seven continents, and South Africa is a member. A group of 22 IMO delegates were hosted by AIMSSEC in Muizenberg, Cape Town, for the purpose of providing rigorous training to a group of students who had to undergo an intensive training workshop. The cohort of students trained were being prepared for two crucial competitions at the Pan-African level as well as at an international forum. The 18 young people were trained under the authority of four training personnel (tutors) organised by SAMF. The group arrived at AIMSSEC premises on Sunday, 2 April 2023 and finished with the training session on Good Friday, 7 April 2023.
The event created a unique platform which brought together some of South Africa’s brightest young minds to work together. Above all, the students got to interact, exchange knowledge, discuss ideas, and ultimately compete against each other. This resulted in the trainers ‘picking’ up the deserving candidates to represent South Africa at Pan-African Mathematical Olympiad (PAMO) in Rwanda, as well as IMO in Chiba, Japan. Of the successful contenders, 6 will represent South Africa in the PAMO competition in Rwanda, whilst the other group of 6 will represent the country in Chiba, Japan (2-13 July 2023).
The students had powerful contributions during the training sessions, where a lot of ideas were exchanged. They shared strategies in problem-solving, also receiving great help from the workshop facilitators. It was heart-warming to see students demonstrate the power of critical thinking, exchange of ideas, listening to the arguments which ensued as they engaged in discussions, and above all, watching them present their mini-research findings in front of fellow students. This was a booster to the students’ confidence in handling problem-solving mathematics questions.