Kids Going Crazy Over Math - Googol Power’s “Crazy4Math” Online Contest Reaches the World

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What started out as a contest among local children has quickly grown into an international network of children sharing math ideas and an exciting competition that boosts math skills. To enter, a child simply has to describe how he or she uses math as part of everyday activities. The purpose is to generate learning ideas for families everywhere to use at no cost.

What started out as a contest among local children in a Vancouver suburb has quickly grown into an international network of children sharing math ideas and an exciting competition that boosts math skills. Susan Jarema, producer of the Googol Power Math Series, initially set up the Crazy4Math Contest to help families in her neighborhood enjoy math outside of school. Then she took it online. “Since then it has taken on a life of its own,” says Jarema, also known by children in her community as The Learning Lady. “I hadn’t expected so much interest. Now I’m getting emails from families all over the world wanting to participate. It’s wonderful to see such excitement about math!”

To enter the Crazy4Math Contest, a child simply has to describe how he or she uses math as part of everyday activities. The purpose is to generate hundreds, thousands – who knows, maybe millions! – of learning ideas for families to use at no cost. Participants will be helping to create the largest list of "Crazy4Math" ideas "By Kids - 4 Kids".

Jarema’s two young children convinced her to ask their two favorite authors of mathematical books to participate. David M. Schwartz (author of How Much Is a Million?, G is for Googol, If You Hopped Like a Frog and many other well-known children’s books with mathematical themes) and Stuart J. Murphy (author of the best-selling MathStart® Series) were both eager to lend their expertise and enthusiasm. “My son was hoping he’d get their autographs,” laughs Jarema, “but for me the thrill was to meet two people whose books have helped my kids get excited about numbers.”

“The joy in math is seeing how we use it both in everyday life and in answering the fascinating, mind-boggling questions we can ask just for fun,” says author David Schwartz, who has been asking and answering mathematical questions since childhood. “When I speak at schools, I tell kids that they will have all kinds of great thoughts and ideas, so long as they wonder about the world. I like to say that I think wondering is wonderful. I am thrilled that this contest will encourage even more kids to wonder – and to use math.”

Stuart Murphy also knows the importance of math. “People have often heard the phrase ‘Kids who are read to become better readers,” he says. “I contend the same is true with math! When parents talk with kids about math in everyday situations, those kids become better at it. Those opportunities come about naturally and are part of how parents can help their kids be better at math.”

Jarema has noticed a trend in Canada towards a fascination with math since the release of her first album “Multiplication Vacation”. “The fact that our music group Googol Power was voted by fans as Canada’s Favorite Children’s Group at the Canadian Independent Music Awards is a good sign!” says Jarema. “Parents today realize that math and problem-solving skills are critical in this rapidly changing world of ours. If we can make learning fun for our children they will gain confidence and be better prepared for the future.”

“There is no limit to the ways math can be used and the places it can be found,” says Schwartz who, in addition to writing books, publishes the national monthly magazine column Math Moments™ (also available online at http://www.davidschwartz.com/mathmoments.htm). “Cooking, gardening, travel, hobbies, sports, games, art, shopping – you name it! They are all fun and they all have wonderful math learning opportunities for families to enjoy together.” The Crazy4Math Contest will ensure that families will see those many possibilities.

Children can enter the Crazy4Math Contest online (with the help of their parents) and enter a description of how they use math in an activity they enjoy. Contestants may use words, drawings, diagrams or photos to describe their idea. The deadline for online entries is July 15th,2005. Semi-finalists will be announced July 25th and online voting ends August 10th. The final winners will be chosen online by math fans all over the world. Winners will be announced August 15th, 2005. Entry information can be found at http://www.crazy4math.com.

Educational prizes have been donated from our main sponsors: David M. Schwartz, Stuart J. Murphy, Learning Resources, The Learning Lady, Genie Creations, and Googol Learning. Visit the contest website to find out more about participating or learn more about other stores, organizations, learning websites and media who promote learning for children. Googol Power is currently working on a new song - “Crazy 4 Math” - to be released at the end of the contest and provided free to everyone who participates.

Electronic Media Kit available at http://www.googolpower.com/media.php
Googol Power website http://www.googolpower.com

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Susan Jarema
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