October 23rd, 2020

Making math a team sport

By Jensen, Randy on December 21, 2019.

Alice Zhang

Math Attack Society

The Math Attack Society has a shared vision of mathematics linked with a technological future. It aims to inspire young students in developing their interest and highlighting their confidence in learning math and science. We are the first math organization in Western Canada offering team-based, annual mathematics competitions for junior high school students in over five cities across Canada. This organization provides a new unique format of competition for young math enthusiasts across the province.

We strive to increase the engagement of junior mathematicians by providing an intense, yet fun team-based experience for all competitors. Our Lethbridge team aims to broaden the previously isolated environment of competitive math by focusing on collaboration. Thus, we have introduced a new junior high competition that is centred on team performance rather than an individual. We strive to create mathematical futures for youth through teaching and sharing in our community.

Along with our contest, we provide tutoring services, too. More than 40 per cent of Grade 9 public school students failed their math Provincial Achievement Test in 2017 to 2018, bringing the state of math to what parents are calling a “crisis.”

Math Attack provides free online Provincial Achievement Test reviews and recorded online videos for all junior high school students. We also strive to inspire youth who are under-represented. These include girls and Indigenous youth, youth with special needs, or living in remote communities, and those facing social-economical challenges. We empower young people through impactful mentoring experiences by connecting them with experienced high school seniors. These mentors who achieve academic excellence and community leadership will positively influence the underrepresented young students.

On Dec. 14, Lethbridge Team Math Attack held its first contest and competition at the University of Lethbridge. We had over 30 Grade 6 to 10 students from across the Lethbridge School District board of schools including: G.S. Lakie, Gilbert Paterson Middle School, Winston Churchill High, St. Francis, St. Joseph and Agnes Davidson Elementary School. The students competed in an exciting and invigorating environment, sharing pizza and cookies with their friends and fellow competitors during the breaks.

They also had the opportunity to engage with us, asking any questions they may have had from the contest. The top three scoring teams won gold, silver and bronze medals and the rest of the teams received certificates for their effort throughout this competition. From the feedback from students, teachers and their guardians, we have concluded this event was incredibly successful and reached out to many young minds who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in Lethbridge. With this encouragement in mind, our team is working on creating another competition in the upcoming year for students in our city.

Team Math Attack was founded in 2017 and there are three provinces and many other Canadian cities which are are proud members of this organization. Lethbridge just became one, too!

Team Math Attack is looking to touch the hearts of other people in our community who are also interested in math and sciences and encourage them to pursue their passions. We strongly believe this event not only showcases the brilliance and intelligence of Lethbridge students but also their diligence.

Alice Zhang is a Grade 12 student at Winston Churchill High School who is Lethbridge Team Director of Team Math Attack Society, a non-profit organization run by Canadian students to promote STEM innovation within the community.

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