(PRWEB) August 28, 2006
The Crazy 4 Math Summer Contest received entries from all over the world, showing that mathematics is enjoyed by children everywhere. In this contest, entrants were required to describe how they use math in an activity they enjoy. The top entries received hundreds of dollars’ worth of fun educational materials. All participants received a certificate and an MP3 of Googol Power’s two new songs, “Crazy 4 Math” and “MATHemACTION.”
The top individual entry this year was from Yifeng Wang (age 9) of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: its title was "Mixing Math and Mountains.” Yifeng had been a finalist last year with her gardening entry, “Maximum Area for Mom.” This year Yifeng wanted to know how many steps it would take to climb up Mount Doug and return. By using a tape measure, pedometer and GPS, she was able to determine the distance to the summit as well as her step length. Math principles used included estimation, comparisons, charts, problem solving, measuring, distance, time, averages and arithmetic.
Yifeng also came up with some interesting findings. She discovered that her average steps were longer on her ascent. “People take smaller steps coming down, so they don’t fall,” Yifeng concluded. She also learned that her measuring instrument, the pedometer, was not as accurate going uphill. “It worked a lot better coming down,” explained Yifeng. “Sometimes, you just have to stomp like crazy. Like when you’re CRAZY 4 MATH.”
The top school entry "Tooth Fairy Math," came from Elsie Amrich Mangeri of Windsor Locks Public School in Connecticut, USA, who had been tutoring an ESL student in math.
“I am always looking for ways to keep his interest,” says Elsie. “He enjoys stories about his own country and culture, BUT he does not like math.” We looked at stories from his home, India starting with the tale of the tooth fairy: Do you put your tooth on the roof, or under your pillow?
After reading several stories they created a grid to compare “tooth fairy” traditions in different countries. “My student learned that other places share the same beliefs,” explained Elsie. “The best part was making a graph (using math) to demonstrate our findings. This experience was educational and fun for both of us. Most important, it used math, a subject he was not previously interested in.”
Other unique entries included “Tracking Trash” and “Anti-Bore Math.” “It’s wonderful to see parents and children spending time together...and, of course, using math!” says Susan Jarema, founder of Googol Learning and the Crazy 4 Math Contest. “These families have discovered that learning happens all the time, and that math can be found everywhere.”
Teachers and families can visit http://www.crazy4math.com to view more great entries that apply math to gardening, shopping, cooking, crafting, building, writing, sports, music, games, art, travel, – and even doing chores!
Much of the success of this contest is due to the sponsors and organizations that have helped promote it. The main sponsors are Googol Learning Fundraising, David M. Schwartz, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Stuart J. Murphy, Learning Resources, Carschooling, The Early Learner Magazine, Pacific Music, The Manners Lady, Discovery Multiplication and Googol Power. Visit http://www.crazy4math.com to find out more about participating next year.
For more information, contact