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William Dunbar PS Students Earn Third Place in Ontario Math Olympics

Grade 7 and 8 students utilize exceptional problem-solving skills at Ontario math competition.

By Sarah Racioppa

L-R: Ajita, Cali, Sheldon, and Jing were
beyond excited to place third in the
Ontario Math Olympics.

"Placing third at the Ontario Math Olympics is an extraordinary accomplishment!" says Lori Yee, Math teacher at William Dunbar Public School in Pickering.

After winning the Durham District School Board regional math competition, Ajita, Sheldon, Cali, and Jing competed at this year's Ontario Math Olympics (OMO).

Held at Sheridan College in Oakville on June 8 and 9, 28 teams from all over Ontario participated in individual, pair, and team events solving challenging math problems. Each team consisted of a Grade 7 girl, a Grade 7 boy, a Grade 8 girl, and a Grade 8 boy.

The theme of the competition this year was "things that rotate," and one of the tasks was to try to "rotate" toilet paper. The goal was for teams to figure out how to get their roll of toilet paper closest to the wall.

The William Dunbar PS team testing
out theories on how to accurately unravel
the toilet paper roll.

First, teams received a full roll and were given the freedom to use it in any way and make any calculations necessary. Next, teams were given a roll with fewer sheets and again had to figure out where to place the roll so that when it rolled out, it was as close to the wall as possible. Ajita explains, "Our team had a lot of debating over what to do, but in the end, we were able to find a solution that allowed us to receive the maximum amount of points for that round."

Placing third in all of Ontario was an incredible experience for Ajita, Sheldon, Cali, and Jing.

"I thought it was a very exhilarating experience for all of us," says Jing. "The toilet paper roll event was very out-of-the-box and was definitely my favourite."

Ajita adds that participating in the OMO taught her more than just math skills, "I have learned to be quick on my feet, work well with my team, but also to know when to steer things on my own."

Cali says that the best part of the whole trip was how much their team bonded, "We got so close. It was amazing. I am so proud of us."


Durham District School Board
400 Taunton Road East,
Whitby, ON
L1R 2K6 Canada

Phone: 905-666-5500
Fax: 905-666-6474
Toll Free: 1-800-265-3968
TTY 905-666-6943, 877-868-5575
© Durham District School Board, 2013