This week we were given a maths challenge from Wales to my school Drimnagh Castle. The maths challenge was about a match of any sport and at the half time we had to find out the possibilities of how the home and away team scored their points. For example, let’s say a Gaelic football match is being playing in Croke Park in Dublin between the home team and some other away team. After a couple of scores it was 4 to 2 at the end of the game. We then had to find all the possibilities of what the score could have been at the half time.

We used a method of listing the possibilities through a graph and working systematically to find the possible half time scores of the examples given to us. Then Mr. Toher and Mr. O’ Neill asked us to find a simpler way to find the possible half time scores instead of using the listing method on a graph. In some games like basketball scores could rack up to over 100 points. That would take a very long time if you are using the listing method. After a few minutes of utter brainstorming a pupil in our class found out a better way of finding out the possibilities of the half time score regardless of what scores are given to us. First of all you have to add one to each score because zero counts as a possible score in half time 0,1,2,3,4 so then  3:4 becomes 4:5 and then you multiply the two scores together. For example 4 x 5 = 20 so 20 is all the score possibilities you can get at half time. Now to see if the method is simpler and correct Mr. O’ Neill tested this method on multiple scores and to his surprise it worked.  We learned that day about how to find all the possibilities in a much faster and simpler way. Another way of doing this is by putting the possible scores into a grid. This way you can be sure that you don’t miss any.

By Darrell