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NZ students win medals for outstanding performance

November 2004

NZ students win medals for outstanding performance in International Maths competition

Three students have been presented with medals in the Australian Mathematics Competition for the Westpac Awards, the first time the presentation ceremony has been held in New Zealand. The competition, held annually, attracted hundreds of thousands of entries from more than 30 countries.

New Zealand’s three medallists are: Michael He, Year 8, Auckland Grammar School, Auckland Tommy Fergusson, Year 10, Mt Albert Grammar School, Auckland Stephen Fitchett, Year 11, Cashmere High School, Christchurch

Michael He was also one of only 19 students from around the world to receive the prestigious BH Neumann Award for Excellence, awarded to those students who have achieved a perfect score.

All three medal recipients are all round high achievers.

Michael He has gained High Distinctions in many Maths, Science, English and Computing competitions over the last five years as well as gold in the Asia-Pacific Mathematical Olympiad for Primary Schools in 2003 and a medal in 2002 Australian Schools Computer Skills Competition. Apart from mathematics and computing he enjoys table tennis and reading. He plans to become a doctor or scientist.

This is Tommy Fergusson’s third AMC medal and he won a science medal in 2001. He also enjoys tennis, hockey, underwater hockey and astronomy.

Stephen Fitchett has won his school’s general excellence trophy for the last two years and is also involved in the NZ Maths Olympiad training. He enjoys computer programming, orienteering and chess and plans to become a computer programmer.

Michelle van Gaalen, Westpac’s GM, Marketing & Products, also presented Certificates to prizewinners and Prudence Award winners from the Auckland district. “Westpac has been supporting the Australian Mathematics Trust to encourage interest in the study of mathematics since the competition began in 1978,” she said. “We think Westpac has a responsibility to not only provide all levels of financial services but also a responsibility to encourage financial literacy and champion this in our communities.”

The Executive Director of the Australian Mathematics Trust, Professor Peter Taylor said, “Mathematics is a universal language and the foundation of all the sciences. As such, it is fundamental to ongoing scientific discovery and progress. These medallists have the potential to make great contributions to the global society at a time when scientific knowledge is crucial. They deserve to be acknowledged and encouraged.”

Sponsored by Westpac Banking Corporation, the University of Canberra and the Canberra Mathematical Association, the Competition is now in its 27th year and has attracted more than 10 million entries since it began in Canberra. This year, more than 26,000 New Zealand primary and secondary school students from over 290 schools participated.

ENDS

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