Teenagers sacrifice holidays for a ... maths camp?

IMAGES of bored teenagers splayed across beanbags in a sea of crumbled corn chips immediately spring to mind when school holidays arrive.

For a group of enterprising maths students about to enter Year 11, that appalling stereotype could not be further from the truth.

Toowoomba Grammar School has hosted its first three-day Christmas holiday maths camp, drawing 18 of its own pupils and another from The Glennie School.

Admittedly a few were not there of their own accord, last year's report cards prompting mums to take the initiative on their behalf.

However, even the most begrudging of the young mathematicians agreed it was worth the effort by the second day.

"I didn't know what to expect but the teachers have made it interesting," Alex Harris said.

"It's a lot more hands-on than I thought - we're not just sitting in a classroom."

Students have geometrically mapped schoolyard landmarks and calculated how long it would take Toowoomba's population to squeeze each others' hands down a direct line, with reaction speeds as a major variable.

"Some of the things have been quite traditional, such as teaching the algebraic backgrounds they need to know for Maths B this year," director of studies Greg Bland said.

"But we've tried to get outdoors and do practical work wherever possible."