Maths skills put to test

NINE times six equals?

It's the type of question the Manning's brightest young minds will have to answer as they put their maths skills to the test today.

And they'll be doing so without the traditional aid of a calculator or even a ruler.

In a battle of brain power, Year 5 and 6 students from five of the region's schools are set to take part in the 34th annual Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition

Maths whizzes from the Harrington, Nabiac, Old Bar and Taree West public schools and St Joseph's Primary School will attempt to answer the 35-question paper, as they compete against a record 306 schools ranging from the Mid North Coast to the Central Coast.

Newcastle Permanent CEO Terry Millett said the annual competition had become an institution, renowned for re-igniting the passion surrounding maths by making it fun.

"Newcastle Permanent's Primary School Mathematics Competition encourages students to become enthusiastic about maths," he said.

"It forces the students to rely on their problem solving skills as they are not able to use calculators, rulers or geometrical instruments when sitting the exam."