TECH-SAVVY Clarendon High School pupil Catherine Ball returned home with a bronze medal after representing her school and province in the National Computer Applications Technology (CAT) Olympiad in Cape Town last month.  The computer whiz zipped through the first round of Olympiad during school, achieving a top 10 position in the country from the 10 983 pupils that entered. She received an all-expenses paid trip to Cape Town to compete in the final round, where she placed third.  “The first round made my brain so tired. I finished the Olympiad in time but never thought I had achieved one of the top results in the country,” said Ball, who is completing matric this year. She said the Olympiad tested problem-solving skills and required pupils to be broad-minded, show creativity and demonstrate competent mathematical abilities. The final round included two one-hour tests and a four-hour project on the theme of the Summer Olympic Games, said South African Computer Olympiad Trust manager Michael Cameron.  The project required the pupils to prepare an A3 info- poster which the Olympic committee can use in schools to promote the Olympics. “The 10 finalists were provided with big databases and complex spreadsheets. They had to develop a formula to calculate points for the triathlon and another to calculate and rank times taken for the marathon to determine who would qualify for the coming Olympics. “They also had to teach themselves a new skill that is not in the school curriculum. For this they were given an eight page document headed ‘how to create a pivot table and manipulate it’.

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