Finest minds do battle
Teams triumph, writes THEMBEKA DLAMUKA
CURRO High and the combined Glenwood House and York High team came out tops this week when Cape Town’s smartest youngsters went head to head in the regional heats of the “Nickelodeon’s Genius powered by Absa” contest, designed to help the country’s children become inspired by maths and science.
After two gruelling days of maths quizzes, science experiments and problemsolving tasks, the teams from Curro High in Durbanville, and Glenwood House Primary and York High in George, have made it through to the national final of the TV quiz show.
The final will be aired live on TV in March.
Each team won a R50 000 Absa MegaU bank account as well as a donation of books worth R10 000 from Cambridge Publishing for their schools.
The competition, open to children aged 11 to 16, was held this week at the Royal Cape Yacht Club to find the regional winners.
“All the children in Cape Town showed resilience and spirit. The competition was very tight, but our two finalists really knew their stuff and 100 percent deserved to get through,” said Tasania Parsadh, channel director of Nickelodeon Africa.
“Although only two teams could be selected, every child who took part should be extremely proud of themselves.
“We are super-stoked for the winning teams and cannot wait to see them take part in the finals.”
The team which takes top honours in next year’s final wins a R100 000 Absa MegaU account for each member of the winning team, along with a visit to Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida in the US, where they will have lunch with an astronaut and a trip to Universal Studios.
The winning schools will receive books and educational material worth R30 000 from Cambridge Publishing.
Highlights of the regional heats and workshops will air on NickToons from December. Curro High team members Ralph McDouyall, Dantelle Joubert and Joanie Thom, all 16, said they were delighted to have won after a fun, tough and exciting day of battles.
“I kept telling them that we would win, but they told me not to count my chickens before they hatch. But I was positive, and believed that attitude would get us the win,” said Dantelle.
The combined Glenwood House Primary andYork High team, said they were nervous at first, but soon started getting comfortable.
“When we were in the finals we were very nervous to go up against Curro High,” said 12-year-old Nicole van Helsdingen.
Her team mate, 15-yearold Derick Hill, said he was very good at maths but kept forgetting things because he was nervous on stage.
Nicole has missed 70 percent of her school year thanks to heart surgery, but still managed to work hard and help her team to success, her mother, Hendra van Helsdingen said, describing her daughter as “a determined young girl”.
Derick said he kept pressing the table instead of the buzzer and that they’d have to work on their speed in this respect before the finals.
The third member of their team was Nicole’s brother, Matthew.
The mixed team from Glenwood House Primary school and York High school are Mattew van Helsdingen, 15, Nicole van Helsdingen, 12, and Derick Hill, 15.