Number’s up for difficult numbers
TWO COWAN House pupils made their school proud after they achieved gold at the Global Association of Japanese Soroban and Mental Arithmetic (GASJMA) championships in Bangkok.
David Nienaber, 12, and his brother, Skyler, 9, of Hilton, qualified for the competition after coming out tops at a national championship in Gauteng last year.
The siblings, who went up against pupils from India, Australia and Lebanon, each had six minutes to write an examination using the abacus to complete 40 addition, multiplication and division questions.
“They thereafter had another two-minute examination to answer 40 questions mentally,” said their mother, Charmaine, who accompanied them to Thailand.
She said David was also one of two South Africans chosen to demonstrate how he computed complex mathematics sums mentally on stage.
Speaking about attaining gold, David said: “At one stage, I wanted to pinch myself to check if dream.”
The Grade 7 pupil said he was undecided on what to study after he matriculated.
At this stage he is preparing for his next hurdle, high school.
Skyler, who is in Grade 3, has his future mapped out.
“I want to be a scrumhalf for the Springboks.”
Their mom added: “To compete internationally was an achievement and to receive gold was the cherry on top.
“My husband David and I just hope the boys use the experience to their advantage.”
She said the boys were enrolled in a maths club four years ago, as they were concerned about the standard of South Africa’s education.
“We tried to give them a better foundation, which can carry them through to high school.”
Charmaine described her sons as quiet, but still typical boys.
“They love sport and doing stuff outdoors, like riding motorbikes with their dad.”
it was a
David and Skyler Nienaber, who received gold at a maths competition in Bangkok.