Media Release – December 14, 2021
Canadian Mathematical Society

The 2021 Gray Jay Competition Was a Huge Success!

OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce the results of the 2021 Canadian Mathematical Gray Jay Competition. This is the second year that the Canadian Mathematical Society is organizing this competition for elementary- and middle school students and the CMS has observed a 40% increase in participation. This year, some 2800 students wrote the Gray Jay on November 18 and 19, 2021. This was also an opportunity for the CMS to form new partnerships with over 10 countries and help engage young students in this mathematical activity on both national and international level.

Due to the global pandemic, the Gray Jay was offered, for the second year in a row, in two formats this year, paper and virtual. To make the virtual exam accessible to all, and allow for students to self-register, the CMS created an all-new user-friendly platform that will heretofore be used for CMS virtual competitions.

CMS-Gray Jay Committee Chair, Shawn Godin is very pleased with the success of the competition:

I am very happy that students seem to be enjoying the contest. I hope that it will become a regular fall activity for students across Canada and around the world.

Dorette Pronk, CMS-Competitions Committee Chair said she is encouraged by “the excitement for mathematical problem solving and the growing popularity of this contest among our younger students in spite of the pandemic!”

2021 Gray Jay Results

The median score for the 2021 Gray Jay was 45/80 with a top quartile score of 60/80.

84 students obtained perfect scores this year, this includes one student in grade 4 and three students in grade 5.

This year too, the CMS held a random prize draw and 10 students were selected for the prize.

For a list of national and international students in each prize category please consult this page.

The CMS Inclusion Initiative

Thanks to the financial support of the Actuarial Foundation of Canada and the RBC Future Launch program, the Canadian Mathematical Society could offer free registration to Black and Indigenous students as well as to a number of female-identifying students. The CMS is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in mathematics and encourages teachers to inform their students of this initiative.

About the Canadian Mathematical Gray Jay Competition

Canadian Mathematical Gray Jay Competition is a Canadian math competition created in 2020 and open to students in grades K-8, with questions based primarily on grades 5-8 curricula. This competition has been created by mathematicians from across Canada.

The problems are meant to be a fun fall activity for students and teachers to complement their math curriculum and build students’ problem-solving skills. The Gray Jay will offer engaging problems that will allow for discussion after the competition and get students excited about math. The competition will have 15 questions which take place over 90 minutes. It will consist of 3 blocks of 5 questions with an increasing level of difficulty from beginning to end.

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

Founded in 1945, the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) promotes the advancement, discovery, learning and application of mathematics. The CMS promotes mathematics through a rich array of activities including scientific meetings, publications, awards, prizes, grants, camps and competitions.

For more information on the Gray Jay Competition, please contact:

Dr. Dorette Pronk (Dalhousie)
Chair, CMS-Competitions Committee
Canadian Mathematical Society
or Shawn Godin
Chair, CMS-Gray Jay Committee
Canadian Mathematical Society