The MATHCOUNTS Foundation is a nonprofit organization that strives to engage middle school students of all ability and interest levels in fun, challenging math programs, in order to expand their academic and professional opportunities. Currently they're in the middle of hosting their third annual Math Video Challenge. This free contest can inspire students to see math in a new light by framing problems and concepts with real-life experiences and situations. During the Math Video Challenge, student teams pick a common core aligned problem from the MATHCOUNTS School Handbook. They then use this problem and its solution as a base to create a fun math movie that shows the real world application of the math involved.
As one participant explained, the Math Video Challenge “enabled me to think of creative ways to solve hard problems. In addition it allowed me to see some real life applications. Now when I get stuck on hard math problems, I think of them differently and how I can relate it to real life.” Students are able to see math through a different lens when they’re challenged to think outside of the box.
This free program can easily be adapted into a classroom activity for teachers who are looking for STEM inspired project-based exercises to do with their students, they've even put together a quick start guide to help advisors and their teams through the process.
I thought that some of you may be interested in being an advisor for this year's competition, for more information on MATHCOUNTS or the Math Video Challenge, please visit these webpages at mathcounts.org and mathvideochallenge.org/2014.