Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oral exams and Juggling at the Nordic Math Competition

Tuesday was the first day of oral exams... We teamed up with external censors, which in this case were math education professors from Bergen. Students randomly drew two topics, prepared for 45 minutes, and then presented. I was surprised at how easy it was to understand and question students, and the day went very well.

I hurried home afterwards to get ready for another event. The Nordic Math Competition is being held in Trondheim this year. It was originally scheduled to take place in Iceland, but was changed last month because of uncertainties over air travel with the volcanic eruption in Iceland. The competition rotates from country to country, with teams of four 8th graders coming from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finnland, and Iceland to present projects and have a group problem-solving competition.

I wrote the questions for the competition and was asked to be a jurist, but I could not because of oral exams this week. I was however able to join the teams this evening for dinner and to give them a math of juggling presentation. We met at Kvilhaugen, the restaurant very close to our house that we "discovered" last month. It was fun to see old friends from the other Nordic countries, the organizers whom I had met two years ago when the competition was in Copenhagen.

It was nearly 11 pm when I got home, and I went straight to bed. Wednesday will be another long day -- oral exams from 9 to 5 and then a working meeting in the evening back at the matematikksenteret.

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