Club Feature: Math Challengers

Record-breaking Results for Math Challengers

Five schools represented the Greater Victoria School District at the Provincial competition this month.

Math Challengers gathered on Friday, April 26 to celebrate their performance at Provincials.

Students within the Greater Victoria School District achieved their best results yet at the Vancouver Island Zone Provincial Math Challengers competition.

“These students are just brilliant,” said Neal Johnson, Math and Science teacher at Mount Douglas Secondary School (Mount Doug) during a celebration on April 26. “It’s inspiring to see the work ethic and passion of our senior students and how they motivate the grades below them. There is a growing passion among students wishing to challenge themselves and apply their high aptitude in mathematics.”

This year, the day-long competition for Grades 8, 9, and 10 was held at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on Saturday, April 13.

“It was kind of hard,” said Grade 8 Glanford Middle School student Cameron Smith about the competition. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, the 9th provincially ranked student said, “Something in the medical field.”

The competition consisted of two individual rounds, one team round, and a face-off round of challenging problems including geometry, number theory, probability theory, algebra, and problem solving—topics that, for most students, exceed the curriculum for their grade level.

“I am blown away by the individual talent and teamwork,” says Donna Thompson, Principal at Mount Doug. “Their dedication is contagious and I’m so proud of them. The invested staff, volunteers, and parents that contribute their time to seeing these students excel makes me so proud.”

After the competition, organizers review how to best work through the problems that had the lowest overall scores.

“It’s heartwarming to hear the collective ‘ahs’ from the students during this portion of the competition,” says Heather Brown, Vice Principal at Mount Doug. “It means the students are eager to understand the areas in which they may need to improve upon.”

Students practice for months for this high-energy and intense (and fun!) competition. Many receive weekly coaching sessions delivered by senior high school students at Mount Doug who volunteer their time to train and support students at Gordon Head, Cedar Hill, Arbutus, and Lansdowne. Many of these students use their lunchtime and after school to hone their skills.

“Forty-three students from the Vancouver Island Regional earned eligibility for the Finals,” says Leo Neufeld, Math Challenger Organizer for the Vancouver Island zone. “This is by far our largest number of advancing students ever. Congratulations to you all!!”

Math Challengers celebrated their success with a one-of-a-kind cake and team clothing.


Island competitors invited to the provincials this year are as follows:

Grade 8 

  • Arbutus Global Middle School – Team (SD61)
  • Glanford Middle School – Team (SD61)
  • St. Michaels University School – Team
  • Gordon Head Middle School – Individual (SD61)
  • Cedar Hill Middle School – Individual (SD61)
  • Royal Oak Middle School – Two Individuals

Grade 9

  • Mount Douglas Secondary School – Team (SD61)
  • Claremont Secondary School – Team
  • St. Michaels University School – Team

Grade 10

  • Mount Douglas Secondary School – Team (SD61)
  • St. Michaels University School – Team


More Information


Greater Victoria School District No. 61


Google Translate is used as a free tool to enhance the usability of the Greater Victoria School District website. As such, the Greater Victoria School Disctrict is not responsible for Google Translate™.