Saturday Morning Problem Solving

If you’re in Year 7 to 11 and love maths, our Saturday Morning Problem Solving program is a great way to expand your problem-solving skills outside school in the company of other like-minded students.

Run free of charge during every school term at the University of Adelaide's main North Terrace campus, the workshops program will help you:

  • find friendship, inspiration and encouragement while solving non-standard, and sometimes complex, problems
  • build a tool chest of strategies for solving problems you’ve never seen before
  • become highly flexible and creative in your problem-solving approach.

Saturday Morning Problem Solving has been developed collaboratively by the University’s School of Mathematical Sciences, the Mathematical Association of South Australia (MASA) and numerous high school maths teachers.

Saturday Morning Problem Solving

What you’ll learn

Much of your time will be spent working on and discussing competition-type problems, in areas such as number-based problem-solving, number theory and mathematical thinking. You’ll also be taught a few new problem-solving skills and techniques now and then.

The problems will span a range of difficulty levels to cater for participants’ different stages of development, with additional background supplied where necessary. The aim is to build up your problem-solving abilities so that you can tackle harder and harder problems as the sessions progress.

How to get the most out of it

Number one, give yourself permission to make mistakes; and two, don’t give up! Motivation and perseverance are required to work on many of the problems, and you may be frustrated at times. But if you’re prepared to take risks, work with others and seek help when you need it, you’ll be on the fast-track to success.

We also urge you to seize the opportunity to make connections and brainstorm with participants from other schools. It can open your mind to new perspectives and really enrich the process.

A springboard into major maths competitions

Attending Saturday Morning Problem Solving is excellent preparation for the ANU-AAMT National Mathematics Summer School, Hamann School Mathematics Competition, and the International Mathematical Olympiad. Many students have gone on to participate in these events. 

Frequently asked questions

  • Who can attend the program?

    You can attend Saturday Morning Problem Solving if you’re in Year 7 to 11 at any school in South Australia. 

  • Do I need to be good at maths?

    You’ll get the most out of the workshops if you enjoy mathematics and want to challenge yourself with more advanced problem-solving than the school curriculum provides.

  • Does the University provide tutoring?

    No, Saturday Morning Problem Solving doesn’t provide tutoring in maths. If you need help with maths, such as remedial tuition, we suggest you talk to your maths teacher at school.

  • Does it cost anything to attend?

    No, the workshops are all free—we even supply morning tea.

  • Do I need to attend all workshops?

    No, you’re very welcome to attend as many as you like, even if that’s only one.

  • Should I bring anything?

    We suggest you bring a pen and pencil, eraser, graph paper, notebook and scientific calculator.

  • Where are the workshops held?

    All workshops are held in the University of Adelaide’s Ingkarni Wardli building.

    Ingkarni Wardli building
    North Terrace campus
    University of Adelaide

    View campus map

    Meeting point
    We’ll meet all participating students at Gate 9 near the University of Adelaide Footbridge on Victoria Drive, which is easily accessible for drop-offs (and pick-ups). There’s paid (metered) parking all along Victoria Drive.

  • Is there any homework?

    Not as such, but we will give you plenty of challenging mathematical questions to take away and work on in your own time.

  • Who do I contact for more information?

    If you have any questions about Saturday Morning Problem Solving, please contact Madelaine Veltman.

Study mathematics at university

Maths can prepare you for a wide range of fascinating and highly rewarding careers. If you’ve nearly finished high school, you can continue to study mathematics at university. We offer undergraduate degrees in mathematical sciences and computer science.

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