A New York State Mathcounts Team Makes it to “Reel” Math Challenge

This year a New York State team has made it to the finals of the “Reel” Math Challenge. The team is from St Mary’s St Alphonsus Regional Catholic School in Glens Falls, New York. The team members are Nolan Hogan, Max Barton, Kalyn McGuire and Theresa Hajos coached by Elizabeth Hogan. The “Reel” Math Challenge is part of the National Mathcounts Program designed to promote math skills to middle school students. The “Reel” Math Challenge is now in its second year.

“Reel” Math is a competition to make a 5 minute video about a solution to a problem in the Mathcounts handbook. Four person, middle school teams from all across the United States participated in this year’s challenge. In all 253 teams submitted videos which are all archived on the “Reel” Math website. (www.reelmath.org) This competition is meant to excite students about math while allowing them to hone their creativity and communication skills. Each video must teach the solution to the selected math problem as well as demonstrate the real-world application of the math concept used in the problem.

After the videos were uploaded to the “Reel” Math website the general public was invited to vote for their favorite video. The 20 videos with the highest vote totals then advanced to the semifinals of the competition. The four finalist were selected by a panel of Mathcounts judges who reviewed the top 20 videos.

On May 9th these four teams will leave for an all-expense paid trip to Washington DC as part of the Mathcounts National Competition. The four teams will present their videos to the 224 mathletes competing at the event. Those mathletes will vote for one of the four videos to be the winner of the Reel Math Challenge. Each member of the winning team will receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

The problem selected by the St Mary’s St Alphonsus team was “If 1 bucket + 5 jars = 1 tub, and 3 buckets + 2 jars = 2 tubs, how many jars are equal to 1 tub?” The team made a video about an impending storm that was predicted to cause tenants in an apartment building to loose their water. After the “tenants” filled their tubs they had to figure out how many jars were in each tub so they would know how many times they could flush their toilets. This video, called “A Storm is Coming”, is a very humorous presentation of the problem solution. The final four videos are all excellent. They can be watched at www.reelmath.org under “Winners”.

The “Reel” Math program is a great way to excite middle school students about math. Why not give yourself a comic math break and watch “A Storm is Coming” today?

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