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2nd Aug, 2021

Maths-minded pupils at Stratford school KES win national online game design competition

Ian Hughes 12th Dec, 2019

MATHS-MINDED pupils at King Edward VI School have been getting negative with positive results.

A team of 13 and 14 year-olds at the Stratford school won national competition Cracking the Code which challenged them to design an online game which has been launched on Mangahigh – an educational maths platform used by pupils in more than 50 countries across the globe.

The team’s Minus Miners game challenges participants to escape an underground mine, teaching them all about negative numbers in the process. There is also a shop where players can go and spend the gold coins they collect from correctly answering questions.

Ten teams of finalists went to innovation foundation Nesta’s offices in London in the summer to present their idea to a panel of judges.

The KES team came up with the layout, story and maths puzzles within the game. Mangahigh then produced a paper prototype which was tested by pupils, before the game was built online.

The aim of the game is to inspire a love of maths and demonstrate how the subject can be used creatively.

KES teacher Amanda Wood said: “Through this competition, I have seen a level of creativity from the students that I don’t normally see. I am so proud of the students. It is incredible to see just how much they have learned from this project; so much more than just a thorough understanding of negative numbers but also presentation skills, confidence and teamwork when working with the design team to develop the game.”

Kate Bower, assistant programme manager at Nesta, said: “Maths Mission was set up to increase young people’s interest in maths and the Cracking the Code competition is an opportunity for students to use their imagination and apply maths in exciting contexts.

“This encourages the development of important skills like problem-solving and creativity. Maths should be combined with other subjects so students are aware of all the wonderful things it can be used for and how it effects so many aspects of our lives.”

Tim Jones, executive director at Tata Limited, which alongside Nesta runs the competition, added: “I’ve been excited to visit King Edward VI school and congratulate the team in person for their achievement of designing the fantastic Minus Miners game.

“I hope the team and their game will be a great example of the innovation young people can come up with when given the opportunity to do so and the wonderful things maths can do for them.”

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