Danielle Boadu, a 9-year-old student from Heritage Park Primary School in Peterborough, won the Year 3–4 division of the “Sum it Up” national math competition with her depiction of arithmetic, beating 450 other students from across the UK and Ireland.
Local elementary school students were encouraged to participate in the tournament, which was organized by renowned edtech firm Renaissance Learning, to celebrate World Maths Day.
The competition, which was open to all primary school students in the UK and Ireland, invited kids to think broadly about how math can be found in everyday life and to produce inventive artwork illustrating their idea of where they may see and experience arithmetic in the real world.
A group of distinguished judges, including Kjartan Poskitt, author of the Murderous Maths series, and Catherine Magee, Silver Winner for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School, selected Danielle’s winning image.
Winner Danielle said: “I had fun with my entry because I enjoyed finding all the shapes and patterns in the playground, and drawing the objects that I counted and observed. When I first looked all the things in the playground looked normal but then I looked closer and thought about all the things we had learnt in maths and I thought ‘wow, I can see all of the patterns.”
Danielle’s winning submission truly surprised the judges with its creative and inspirational concepts. Judge Catherine emphasized how Danielle used math to portray nature via the use of addition, forms, and parallel lines.
Danielle’s teacher, Nina Edenbrow, added: “I’m so pleased for Danielle. She made some fantastic mathematical observations and recorded her findings very carefully. We examined our school environment and it was fascinating for the children to see the maths in nature – the symmetry was a particular surprise for many children as I think they imagined nature to be rather ‘haphazard’ but they could see how an understanding of number and shape could help them to create art.”
Five entries from aspiring artists around the nation were selected as winners, with designs containing maths expressed via the children’s interests such as horse boxes, football fields, gardens, supermarkets, and even superheroes. Danielle and her other winners were awarded a Kindle Fire and a year’s worth of access to Renaissance’s Freckle and Star Maths practice and assessment solutions for their class or school thanks to their artistic prowess. Every participant will be given a certificate as a thank you for participating, and winning entries may also be used as future “Depth of Knowledge” questions in Freckle.