For the second year in a row Eastern Michigan University hosted a math-off that caters to various charter school students ranging from grades 1st through 8th. The students are quizzed head to head using math flashcards in a series of rounds at the pace of two competitors at a time. Students at each grade level are placed in brackets similar to those used for march madness in college basketball. The top three finalist from each grade are awarded.
“All of the students are winners. It isn't always an easy road but the students set a goal and achieved it,” said Dr. Malverne Winborne, Director of EMU Charter Schools Office.
The Math Facts Challenge started at PACE Academy with five charter schools and has continued its growth at EMU. This year 19 charter schools participated with students spanning from charters across four counties: Washtenaw, Wayne, Oakland, and Genesee.
“My favorite subject is math, and I practice at school and at home. I’m for sure going to college. I want to go to Michigan State, but I might go here,” said Jakobie Boose, 10-year-old, 4th grade bracket finalist. When asked does he think he we will win he said, “Yeah, just like I did last year!”
The goal of this friendly competition is to motivate young students to value education, math in particular, and EMU hosting the event gives students insight into their future possibilities.
“I always loved math, and in the future I’d like to major is something to do with math. It’s always been a hobby, and to me it’s really fun,” said Ali Attar, 14-year-old, 8th grade bracket finalist.
In 1995 EMU created the Charter Schools Office, and through this office EMU now sponsors 19 charter schools that are located throughout Michigan.
Ten out of 19 schools participating in the competition are authorized by EMU. Each participating charter must annually seek a spot, and each charter sets in-house competitions throughout the year to select the finalist that move on to compete against other charters.
“The students are excited about education and they love math which is inspiring. I foresee this event continuing to grow. More and more schools are showing interest so the snowball is rolling,” said Stacey Good, program coordinator, and 1st grade teacher.