From June 26 to June 30, the Summer Mathematical Rinrut (inverse for Turnir — Russian word for Tournament) for junior high school students who are passionate about mathematics was held at the Specialized Educational and Scientific Center of NSU (SESC NSU). All week the guys solved research problems, played intellectual games, and at the end of the shift they presented the results of their work at the poster session.
Mathematical Rinrut is a scientific and educational seminar for school students. Traditionally, it is held in the form of team competitions to solve research mathematical problems. Rinrut participants are 45 students of grades 5–10 who are deeply engaged in mathematics and show high results in intellectual competitions in this subject. Team leaders are students, undergraduates, graduate students of Department of Mathematics and Mechanics of NSU.
Within five days, participants were asked to solve several problems of an open nature. Some of the tasks do not have a ready-made solution: the jury members and team leaders are trying to advance in their research on a par with schoolchildren.
— Participants take a problem and not just solve it, but explore it in different directions, asking the question: “What if?...” This is a complete immersion in research mathematics. Here the guys communicate with each other, learn to work in a group and create something in common, develop their creativity by inventing new tasks. And, of course, a very important point: schoolchildren learn to think, and not memorize algorithms, — says teacher Anastasia S. Zintsova.
The organizers note that this, albeit educational, activity contains everything that future scientists need: the ability to put forward a hypothesis and test it, the ability to plan experiments and analyze their results, the ability to formulate good questions and draw up solutions in the form of a scientific article, and, of course, skill to work in team.
During the breaks, the teachers played games with the children. After classes, there were also entertainment events, for example, the show "Intuition", during which you need to find out the person by the facts, or the business game "Farm".
At the end of each day, the participants summed up the work, found out how deep or wide the teams had advanced in their research. And in the mornings there were daily briefings on one of the tasks: meetings that simulated the atmosphere of a real scientific seminar.
Rinrut ended on June 30 with a poster session, during which the teams presented the results of their work in the form of a poster presentation. Parents were invited to the poster session. They were able to hear about the research and ask questions, as well as vote for their favorite solution. The team that advanced the farthest in solving problems received the traditional prize — an inverted cup.
The Mathematical Rinrut tournament has been held since 2013 twice a year. The organizers are SESC NSU, Autonomous non-profit organization of extracurricular education for children "DIO-GEN" and Mathematical Center in Akademgorodok.
This story is a translation of an article by SESC NSU press office