On Saturday the 24th of September 150 kids from the first two years of high school from all over the Netherlands came to the VU to compete in the Junior Math Olympiad (Junior Wiskunde Olympiade, JWO), organized by our assistant professor Rianne de Heide together with the Nederlandse Wiskunde Olympiade. Invited were those who obtained the highest score on the Kangoeroe Wedstrijd last spring.
The day started with a lecture for the children and their parents about Rubik's cubes by our professor Joost Hulshof. Then they answered the 8 questions of the first part of the olympiad, such as the following:
On a long street, there are four houses, numbered from 1 to 4, where the distances between the houses are all distinct. The houses have their front door directly on the street. There are eight people living in the first house, two people each in the second and the third house, and three people in the fourth house. A new bus stop is constructed in the street, in such a way that the total distance for the 15 inhabitants of the street to the bus stop is as short as possible. Which house will be closest to the bus stop?
After lunch in the restaurant of the VU, they competed in the second part with 8 very challenging problems. While the volunteers graded the olympiad against the clock, the children played with math puzzles provided to them by Vierkant voor Wiskunde. The day ended with the prize ceremony in which the top 10 from class 1 and the top 10 from class 2 were given a mathematical present.