Maths helps thinking

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 July, 1996, 12:00am

Four students from Carmel Pak U Secondary School bagged the second prize in this year's Tai Po Joint School Mathematics Contest.

The four contestants - Tina Ho Lai-shan, Anthony Lam Yi-ping, Edward Wong Man-him and Yeung Hon-ho - said mathematics helped them in many ways.

'It helps to train my thinking,' said 16-year-old Tina. Edward agreed. 'You tend to be able to think quickly if you're good in mathematics because it's basically about logic.' Aspiring to be an accountant, the Form Four student said doing well in mathematics helped in his daily life.

'You can't take the calculator with you all the time so if you're fast enough, you can make sure people in the shops won't cheat you.' Although Anthony believed talent played a key role in one's performance in the subject, Tina thought otherwise.

'Hard work and practice is more important if you want to do well in mathematics,' she said.

But the Carmel Pak U students said they were satisfied with their results.

'I'm glad we've made some progress after one year: we've gone from third place to second,' said 15-year-old Hon-ho.

The top prize went to first-time participants SKH Bishop Mok Sau Tseng Secondary School.

Tweety Lau Chui-yi of the champion school said she believed mathematics was the most flexible science subject.

'I don't suggest just practising and working on the formulas. I think it is more important to know how to apply them in various situations,' the Form Four student said.

Philip Poon Wing-chung, who is in charge of the project, said setting the questions was a big challenge for the organising committee.

'We set the questions based on some books and our teachers' advice and we have to check the questions and answers.

'So even for us, it's a very good learning exercise,' said the Form Six student.

The half-day contest, conducted in the form of a quiz and a group discussion, was hosted last week at the school hall in Carmel Pak U Secondary School.

The third prize went to Immanuel Lutheran College.

Other participating schools were Kau Yan College, Confucian Ho Kwok Pui Chun College and Tai Po Sam Yuk Secondary School.