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    The days leading up to the Fun Day passed in a blur for the Maths Department as we set up Memorial Hall, photocopied endlessly and raced around making sure we had enough hand gel and biscuits! By 9 am on Thursday, we were ready to welcome our first teams.
    We welcomed 128 pupils from 31 different schools to Merchiston on Thursday morning. The Merchiston Junior 5 boys did excellent work showing the teams to the biscuits and juice and directing them to Memorial hall but as the group rounds started their competitive spirit kicked in, and they were as desperate to win as everyone else! Some of the group rounds were easier than others, and some of the stations tested not only the pupils but also the supervising teachers. Questions like “if you turn a right-handed glove inside out will it be right or left-handed” causing some exciting demonstrations and arguments.
    After an excellent lunch supplied by the outstanding Merchiston catering team, staff and pupils were ready for the chaos of the relay round. As pupils raced around the hall delivering questions to their teammates, I’m sure a few staff feared for their safety, but the pupils were intent on winning. It was great to see them so engaged with the maths activities and amazing to see them working so collaboratively with their school mates.

    After the excitement of the relay, Professor Adam McBride from the University of Stirling gave an excellent and engaging talk about magic squares with plenty of interactive puzzles for the pupils to complete. Professor McBride has worked with the UKMT for many years and has inspired a whole generation of mathematicians, after his talk, there will undoubtedly be some more budding mathematicians to add to that list!

    Professor McBride’s talk came to an end, and next up was the all-important prizes. Every pupil and team worked incredibly hard, and they were all hoping to hear their name readout, but, sadly, there can only be one winner and this year it was Cargilfield. Congratulations to them on a well deserved first place. We thank every school who attended, we hope that the day was as enjoyable for our visitors as it was for us.

    Liz Duncan