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The north's top young number crunchers

| Written by Shetland News

Number crunchers extraordinaire (from left) Fyntan Shaw, Louise Cluness, Jack Tait and Lois Ross. Photo AHS/SIC Number crunchers extraordinaire (from left) Fyntan Shaw, Louise Cluness, Jack Tait and Lois Ross. Photo AHS/SIC FOUR young secondary pupils in Shetland have won celebrity status at their school for coming top in a maths contest in Aberdeen.

The 12 and 13 year olds from Lerwick’s Anderson High School surprised themselves when they beat fierce competition in the regional final of the annual UK Mathematical Trust’s Junior Team Maths Challenge on Monday.

S2 boys Jack Tait from Tingwall and Fyntan Shaw from Fair Isle, along with S1 girls Lois Ross and Louise Cluness from Lerwick beat 17 teams from state and private schools across the north of Scotland.

The clever quartet have now qualified for the national UK finals in London on 17 June, where they will take on the winners from 60 regional contests across the country.

The Shetland team started off strongly at Monday’s event in Aberdeen University’s Elphinstone Hall, scoring full marks in the first round.

They ended the day with 210 points, a full 11 points ahead of their toughest rivals from Robert Gordon’s College.

AHS head teacher Valerie Nicolson said the foursome had attracted a lot of interest in the school on their return to the classroom on Tuesday, but were taking it in their stride.

“The school is so proud of these youngsters’ achievements at national level. Everyone is speaking about it today,” she said.

“We’ve entered the competition for a number of years, and have had some good results, but never a win because this is a very competitive region.

“They are just amazed and delighted and so excited that they are going to London, so we are going to have to do a bit of fund raising to get them there.”

The teams were faced with a range of problem solving challenges, which they had to work together to complete as quickly as possible.

The teams thanked their maths teacher Trina Stirling who travelled to Aberdeen with them.