What Is the Explore Learning Mathematicians' Award (formerly Known as the National Young Mathematicians' Award)?

Age 7 to 11
Article by Liz Woodham

Published April 2015.

NRICH has worked with Explore Learning since 2010 to hold the Explore Learning Mathematicians' Award (formerly known as the National Young Mathematicians' Award).  Each year, teams of four primary children from schools across the UK take part in local events then five teams are chosen to come to NRICH headquarters in Cambridge for the final. In 2018, there was also a secondary competition for the first time.

In 2018, the five primary finalists were:

Boughton Leigh Junior School, Rugby
St. George's, Weybridge
Elvetham Heath Primary School, Fleet
Rothersthorpe Primary School, Northampton
Nelson Primary School, Twickenham

And the winners were... St George's! 

The five secondary finalists in 2018 were:

Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby
John Hampden Grammar School, High Wycombe
Bluecoat Wollaton Academy, Nottingham
St John’s on-the-Hill, Chepstow
Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Altrincham
And the winners were... Lawrence Sheriff School!

At each stage of the competition, teams work on an NRICH task and are judged on two things: how well they use their problem-solving skills to think like mathematicians and how well they work as a team.

The tasks are particularly challenging and are likely to seem quite different to the sorts of maths activities you might see at most schools. 

Our National Young Mathematicians' Award Feature brings together some of the ELMA (formerly NYMA) activities so why not have a go?  You could even ask your teacher to enter a team from your school this year!  If you are a teacher reading this, please take a look at our teacher feature Using National Young Mathematicians' Award Tasks to Develop Problem-solving and Group-working Skills.

Here is a complete list of all the tasks that have been developed for the ELMA:

2010 - Button-up, Button-up Some More, Curious Number and Inky Cube
2011 - Walking the Squares, So It's Times, It's Times Again and Building with Rods
2012 - Make Those Bracelets, Snake Coils and Dice in a Corner
2013 - The Dice TrainRibbon Squares and Cover the Tray
2014 - Six Ten TotalDisplay Boards and Six Numbered Cubes
2015 - Centred Squares, Dice Stairs and Open Boxes
2016 - Dart Target, Open Squares and Painting Possibilities
2017 - Making PathwaysDiagonal Spiral and Jigsaw Pieces
2018 - Sticky Dice, Folded Number Line and Wire Cages