It was a hop, skip, and a jump into some creative thinking.
That’s how Grade 6 Lord Wolseley School student Alyvia Flanjak procured a gold medal in the Canadian Math Kangaroo Competition, held at the University of Winnipeg this spring. Flanjak was the only Grade 6 medalist in the city, and the only student attending a northeast Winnipeg school to medal.
"I was pretty prepared, so I wasn’t too, too nervous," said Flanjak.
The contest, which began in France, is offered to students in Grades 1 through 12. Participating students in Grades 5 through 12 must answer 30 multiple-choice questions in 75 minutes.
In addition to her classroom instruction, Flanjak had five study sessions with math coach Kathy Moore and fellow students Nicky Moore and Grace Hodge, who also entered the contest. Flanjak’s mother, Katriena, said working with friends in a team atmosphere was a boost for Alyvia.
Moore, who has known the Flanjak family for years and often gave Alyvia math sheets to complete when she came over to play with Nicky, said the questions were advanced for the Grade 6 level but Flanjak was able to handle the level of competition.
"All of the questions were different ways of dealing with the math they had already learned in school," said Moore, who also teaches in the River East Transcona School Division at the adult learning centre. "There was geometry, there was basic numeracy, puzzles."
Flanjak said math is her favourite subject, and though she has several years to come to a decision, foresees herself pursuing the subject later in life.
"I like learning new ways to figure out problems and I like challenging myself," she said.