Math-Team-Matics is one of those things.
Andrew Otten and Sarah Jamison, two preservice teachers graduating next fall, came by with an idea for a math competition. They had seen the competition at Grand Rapids Community College for 9th and 10th graders. It's a little ironic as I am not competitive myself (though we had a big family discussion about this recently) and spend most of my time thinking about how to support struggling students. In addition to supporting Andrew and Sarah I thought it would be good for me to spend some time thinking about the other end of the academic success spectrum. Plus there's a bit of the game aspect to this - something I'd love to increase in future years of the competition.
In addition to Andrew and Sarah, who also provided most of our ideas on what the events should be, the key players on the Math-Team-Matics-Team were:
- Chelsea Ridge, Regional Math and Science Center math coordinator. Great organizational skills and administrative support as well as event design.
- Karen Novotny, full prof in the math department, amazing math knowledge, teaching and problem design.
- Ruth Meyering, affiliate instructor in the math department, former high school teacher and coach of math competition teams. She was the last person to join of this group, but her experience with the competitions helped immeasurably.
|Volunteer needed to try out this problem herself.|
First Event: Team Challenge
Karen came up with this problem and next year's possible team challenge in 20 minutes of brainstorming. We knew this was pretty stiff, but wanted to come up with somethingthat they would need teamwork to do. Many students had not been exposed to isometric drawing and - as Ruth warned us - geometry was a challenge throughout the day. The staircase pattern can often be one of those problems that people either know because they have seen before or find it a stumper.
Second Event: Individual Test
How do you make this about a team? Andrew, Sarah and Ruth saw this as essential and a key part of other competitions. So we made the scoring a bit novel: drop the high and low score for the team. But to include the benefit of having an exceptional individual performer, also add a team score that awards a point for each problem that someone on the team got right.
Third Event: Relay Race
|Ruth runs a relay with coach cooperation.|
Fourth Event: Quiz Bowl
|Waiting to steal.|
(Psssst, it's Archimedes.)
|Top two teams in the younger Division 1 finals.|
We're definitely interested in feedback, but since Math-Team-Matics 2 will be November 8th, 2014, it's even more beneficial than usually. Suggestions and questions, please!