Our official name is the Canadian Math Challengers Society; however, we generally just call our group Math Challengers.
Math Challengers is an enrichment, coaching and competition program that promotes mathematics achievement among students in Grades 8 and 9 by
(i) challenging students with stimulating and thought-provoking questions, and
(ii) having school math teams compete with each other at local, regional and provincial tournaments.
The program builds skills, promotes strategic problem-solving, and exposes students to complex problems that require creativity and persistence in order to be solved -- all a critical part of our increasingly technological society. Moreover, it provides an opportunity to bring 8th and 9th graders together to promote a lively exchange of mathematical ideas through competition.
Math Challengers promotes student interest in mathematics and mathematics-related careers by making math achievement as challenging, prestigious and exciting as a school sport might be. Teachers, volunteers and former student participants coach competitors beginning each fall and continuing throughout the year, either as part of in-class instruction or as an extracurricular activity. In January, in-school competitions are held to determine the five member school teams that will compete at a regional tournament. The training and practice throughout the school year leads up to a Regional Competition held in February.
The teams from the regional tournaments around the province then advance to the Provincial Finals in March, where the B.C. school team and the individual champions are crowned! At each tournament level, all students participate in two individual contest rounds, then in a team round, and finally the top ranked students take part in a head to head buzz-in question-and- answer session (similar to the TV quiz show, "Jeopardy"), where the overall individual champion is decided. Trophies and awards are given to the top finishers at each tournament.
In addition to the in-province tournaments, a Post Provincial Finals enrichment meet takes place for the top 20 students after the Provincial Finals.
Spectators are welcome at these competitions (especially during the Face-Off Stage of the competition, which is a fast-paced buzz-in-and-answer session similar to a television quiz show). If you would like to see a different sort of math contest (rather than the usual sit-and-write format), come check out a Math Challengers competition--it just might make you want to enter a team of your own!