Finest minds do bat­tle

Teams tri­umph, writes THEMBEKA DLAMUKA

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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