Year 12 student earns high commendation in global OxBright essay competition

May 21, 2024

We are thrilled to announce that Year 12 student Breanna V has achieved remarkable success in the prestigious OxBright Essay Competition 2024. Competing against students from around the world, Breanna’s essay was the only one to be ‘Highly Commended’ in the mathematics category.

The OxBright Essay Competition, designed for bright 15-18 year olds, encourages young minds to think beyond the school curriculum. It challenges them to explore complex topics and stand out in their future university applications.

Breanna’s essay, submitted in the mathematics category, tackled the question: “How does collaboration in mathematics support social impact and innovation? Discuss how working together is essential when addressing global challenges and creating meaningful change.” In her 1000-word piece, she eloquently discussed the vital role of mathematical collaboration, particularly in the fields of medicine, politics and finance.

The competition saw entries from students around the globe, but Breanna’s essay stood out as the only one to receive a ‘Highly Commended’ recognition in her category. Mrs. R. Rees, Acting Head, expressed her excitement for Breanna upon hearing the news: “This is such fantastic news. She really is a super star!”

Below is an excerpt from Breanna’s essay, highlighting the relationship of mathematics and medicine:

“Medicine and maths allow us to understand the body and treat disease, helping many people. Mathematical models make drug trials more efficient by describing drug behavior and its reaction with the body, such as measuring tumour shrinkage. This allows doctors to better understand a drug’s potential impact before prescribing it, saving money on expensive clinical trials. Linear algebra enhances safety in medical imaging by interpreting data, reducing misdiagnoses and improving patient outcomes. The collaboration between maths, medicine, and research in Maths Oncology profoundly impacts society by improving patient experiences and reducing deaths. During the Covid-19 pandemic, maths played a crucial role in government policy, using models like the R value to understand and control the virus’s spread, demonstrating the essential collaboration between maths, medicine, and politics in addressing global challenges.”

We are incredibly proud of Breanna’s achievement and her ability to write confidently and clearly about a subject she is passionate about. Her success in this competition highlights the exceptional talent within our school community.