Bebras: A New Challenge for Mathletes

Bebras is an international challenge that develops problem-solving skills and computational thinking in students of different ages. It exists in more than 60 countries. This year, our school had the honor of being a part of it. Students of grades 7-11 who are skillful in math were selected to compete. We received the information weeks before the competition, so we had time to practice during recess. Then, on November 28th, we went to the PC lab and began. The test comprised different problems–easy, medium, or hard–and we needed to solve as much as we could in 45 minutes. We did our best, and on January 13th, we obtained the results: Salvador de la Cruz, Miguel Brenes, Daniel Veras, Gilberto Morillo, and Maria Isabel Ramos will pass to the final round, taking place on February 1st.

Finally, the day arrived. Our mathletes were anxiously entering the New Horizons for their final competition. After 45 minutes of intense thinking and problem-solving with more questions than the first round, they obtained the results once again: Daniel Veras came in second place in his age group (14-16), while Gilberto Morillo (12-14), Salvador de la Cruz (17-18) and Miguel Brenes (14-16) obtained first place!

As a participant, being in the first round of this event made me exercise my brain and enforce my strategic thinking. Comparing answers with friends while we practiced and working to get to an answer together made this experience much more fun. When I first saw various questions, I didn’t realize how to solve them, and I considered them impossible. Still, once I started trying to identify a solution, I understood it’s not that difficult. I am a firm believer that everyone has logical abilities; yet most people give up when they don’t understand something, while others continue until they find a solution, and that makes someone outstanding in this field. It isn’t only the capacity to understand the questions; it is the ability to keep trying when you don’t. Although I didn’t pass, I cherished this adventure and I congratulate the winners.