Monday, December 13, 2010

First Ever Atlanta Neighborhood Math Competition!

The Atlanta Neighborhood Math Competition Fall 2010 took place on December 8, 2010 at Adamsville Recreation Center. Students in grades 3-8 demonstrated the many math skills and concepts they have learned in school and during five weeks of coaching in preparation for this event.

The competition was divided into oral quiz and written quiz portions. Students in grades 3-5 participated in the competitional portion of the event while students in grades 6-8 from Streetsmart took the noncompetition written quizzes only. Below are the results. For each round, two teams from different recreation centers went against each other.

Oral Quiz
3rd grade: Adamsville
4th grade Dunbar
5th grade:Adamsville

Written quiz
3rd grade Adamsville
4th grade Morningside

The most enjoyable aspect of putting this competition together was by far working with students in the preparation phase. I believe Megan Cream, another math coach who is also a Ph.D student at Emory, will agree with this sentiment. Coaching students was both fun and fulfilling; Seeing a student gain proficiency in a skill such as long division, and be able to successfully apply what they learned is really what this event is all about. The core mission behind the competition is to help develop a love of math, an appreciation for healthy competition, and pride in where students are from. Above all, the event was created to help create a CULTURE of education in communities. After the results were announced, Adamsville students showed their pride with the chant "A-D-V! A-D-V!" Teachers and rec center staff members all agreed that the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and are looking forward to the next competition. I can definitely say the same.

What could have been better
We could have benefitted a great deal from more volunteer math coaches to deploy to the other newly-opened recreation centers. Also, because of lack of funds and time there were no prizes. While the students did not seem to mind, I would like for participants to be able to take home a reminder of their hardwork. In the meantime I am applying for grants for the upcoming competition, but would love to be in touch with anyone who is interested in supporting this event through donations of funds, prizes for students, or time as a volunteer.

Thanks to all who helped make this happen. Special thanks to the City of Atlanta for giving me the opportunity to make an idea become reality. More thanks to the students who did their part--the most important part!