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Kangaroo of Mathematics
Where does the contest come from? / Why a kangaroo? / History of a kangaroo?
The idea for this contest originated in Australia in 1978 and was brought to France by two French math teachers. It was named "Kangourou des Mathématiques" (Kangaroo of Mathematics) in honor of the Australian inventors. More and more European countries started to participate, and in 1994 the international association "Kangourou sans frontieres" (Kangaroo without Borders) was founded, having its headquarters in Paris. The German association "Mathematikwettbewerb Känguru e.V." is based at the Humboldt University in Berlin. The mathematical problems students have to solve are essentially the same in all participating countries and are worked on simultaneously every year. International Kangaroo Day is held annually on the 3rd Thursday in March. In Germany, the number of participants increased from 200 students in 1995 to 845,000 last year!
What is the goal of the competition?
The competition is designed to make mathematics more accessible to students by using a humorous approach. Students are encouraged to ponder, puzzle, calculate and estimate in order to solve a wide range of mathematical problems. Questions are structured in a way that for some of the solutions, basic knowledge gained from school lessons is sufficient. Another part of the total of about 30 tasks requires a deeper understanding and creative use of what has been learned. Some problems can be solved with a bit of cleverness and common sense and therefore are well suited for teaching mathematical methods in an entertaining way.
The fact that the solutions are presented in multiple choice, i.e. without exact written explanations, is also attractive to many students.
All participants in this competition will be winners; all receive a certificate with their scores and a souvenir prize. The best mathematicians can also win books, games, puzzles, T-shirts and trips to an international math camp.
The Kangaroo at GISW
For many years, GISW has participated in the Kangaroo competition in both elementary and upper schools. Participation is mandatory for grades 5 and 6.