Star College pupils shine at Astroquiz

Kyle Daniel Poole, Aadam Abdullah, Mogammad Ayyoob Matthews, and Mogammad Ammaar Salasa from Star College finished fifth in the country at the recent Astroquiz competition in Pretoria.

Hours of studying, reading, commitment and passion have paid off for four Star College pupils who came fifth nationally in an astronomy quiz competition.

Kyle Daniel Poole, 13, from Greenhaven, Aadam Abdullah, 13, from Rondebosch, Mogammad Ayyoob Matthews, 13, from Bridgetown and Mogammad Ammaar Salasa, 13, from Plumstead started preparing in May for the the 2016 Astroquiz competition.

They achieved top results since round one, clinching the number one spot in the province out of 30 schools, before advancing to the national leg of the competition in Pretoria earlier this month.

The competition for Grade 7 pupils is run by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA).

Under the guidance of their teacher, Fatima Sait, the boys took on top schools around the country. Even though they ended in fifth place nationally, the result could have easily swung in their favour.

An overjoyed Ms Sait said the competition encouraged extra-curricula learning and built confidence. “Competitors were neck and neck and lots of general knowledge was tested as well,” Ms Sait said.

Each leg of the knock-out quiz sees teams of four answering a set of the same 30 questions.

Half of the competing schools are knocked out in each leg, eventually leading to one school being selected at each centre for the national finals.

“We are very proud of the boys’ achievements,” said Ms Sait.

Kyle , who hopes to become a journalist one day, said preparation for the competition had involved “lots of googling and exceptional amount of commitment, coupled with hard work and sacrifice”.

Kyle’s parents were delighted with the results. His mother, Carol, said: “My husband and I are extremely proud of the boys, not only of my son. They worked hard and remained focused and they were rewarded for it.”

She also praised Ms Sait for helping the boys prepare.

“Ms Sait has been fantastic in her support of these boys and assisting them in prepping for the competition and also accompanying them to the finals.

“This was a great experience for them which they will not easily forget. They have made us as their parents as well as Star College very proud.”