is known primarily for its offering of a national math contest for middle school students. Yet, the organization advertizes itself as a "national enrichment, club and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement."
And now, it is branching out by sponsoring a video contest for middle school students. The rules:
Open to any students in grades six through eight
Students are challenged to create a video that uses a real-world application to teach the math concept in a problem of their choosing from the 2011-12 MATHCOUNTS School Handbook, which can be downloaded at no cost
The submission period is now open and ends next February (2012)
Public voting begins November 15th, 2011
Four finalist teams will win an all-expense paid trip to the 2012 MATHCOUNTS National Competition, where they will present their videos
Each member of the team that creates the winning video will receive a $1,000 college scholarship
At the contest's conclusion, MATHCOUNTS will make available a free library of all the videos submitted, indexed to specific MATHCOUNTS problems, math concepts, and standards. This should prove to become an interesting resource to both teachers and students.
Note: Professionally, I am in favor of this contest's approach and goals, with two exceptions that need to be expressed:
- I despise contests where the winner is based on voting counts, as it encourages manipulation, caters to larger populations, and has little if anything to do with quality of effort
- I wish the challenge was to create a video that uses a real-world application to teach any math concept in a problem of their choosing...and not be limited to the narrow confines of the MathCounts competition...but I understand the underlying motivation for this connection