ABOUT 350-400 UCMAS students from across Surrey, Richmond and Vancouver participated in the record-breaking annual BC provincial, Mental Math competition last Saturday (May 26). UCMAS, a global leader in providing abacus-based mental math education, organized its 5th Provincial Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Competition at Newton Recreation Centre in Surrey.
The annual competition seeks to provide a competitive arena for UCMAS students to excel in their respective categories and be recognized for their excellence. The focused and targeted practice UCMAS students undergo towards preparation of the competition serves to further enhance their Abacus and Mental Math skills.
At the competition, which tests speed and accuracy in arithmetic, the UCMAS students between 4 and 13 years of age, have eight minutes to solve as many as 150-200 math questions depending on the students’ level, using only an abacus or mental math.
“The math tests include numeric calculations of multiple rows and columns that require students to calculate at a rate faster than using a calculator,” noted Rashmi Mehta, Senior Executive, Operations and Regional Moderator, UCMAS, B.C.
“Starting with an Abacus and eventually progressing to Mental Math, our young “math magicians” learn to perform arithmetic calculations of up to several digits in their head, without relying on aids such as calculators or paper and pencil – a feat only possible in geniuses,” explained Mehta.
Being able to compete in this stringent competition proves beyond doubt the extraordinary mental math calculation capabilities of UCMAS students.
“The UCMAS program develops learning skills that instill confidence in kids and allows them to exceed expectations in academics and beyond,” pointed out Vandana Bhusary, Director, UCMAS, B.C.
Besides the provincial results, the scores of the provincial participants will be simultaneously ranked with the tallies of the 13th UCMAS National Competition being held on June 3 at Mississauga, Ontario. On completion of the competition, a glittering award ceremony will be organized on June 17 at the North Delta Secondary Theatre, 8270, 114th Street, Delta, B.C. Prominent dignitaries will attend the competition as well as the award ceremony from various fields.
Established in 1993 in Malaysia, UCMAS today has spread its wings in 80 countries with 6,000+ locations across the globe. As an integral part of its culture, UCMAS organizes international, national and provincial-level competitions at a grand level every year.
“UCMAS positively engages children in a very unique way. The program incorporates auditory, visual and tactile learning styles that help children in developing their learning capabilities, overall potential and confidence to succeed in school and beyond. What makes UCMAS a unique program is its culture, which emphasizes on provincial, national and international competitions. These competitions give students an opportunity to showcase their talent, challenge their potential and win trophies and awards. Facing their fellow students at a national level gives them an unprecedented exposure”, asserted Megha Karia, CEO, UCMAS, Canada and USA.
The UCMAS Program, along with strengthening math skills, promotes whole brain development and establishes foundational building blocks like memory, concentration, creativity and problem-solving capabilities. UCMAS students have been found to be more confident, sharper and better skilled in school and extra-curricular activities. The US government-funded scientific research by MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and UCSD was conducted on UCMAS students of Canada and India, which indicated their enhanced brain development in several white papers later on.