Kickstarter launched to expand Seahurst Elementary School’s ‘Math Bonanza’


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Seahurst’s Elementary School’s ‘Math Bonanza,’ Highline’s math contest for 4th- to 6th-graders, is getting bigger this year! How much bigger? Well, that’s up to you.

TomClymer

Tom Clymer

The contest’s founder, Tom Clymer, has just launched a project on Kickstarter to raise $5,000 to take the Seahurst contest and host it for other districts.

“I’ve seen nearly a thousand kids love this contest over the past four years, and decided it was time to share our secret with the world,” Tom said. “Every school district should have a math contest, but I don’t think most will unless they see one in action.”

If you agree, you can contribute money to help make it happen by clicking here.

To sweeten the deal, contributors at various levels can get “rewards” including a math problem written specifically about them, a contest T-shirt, or recognition ON the contest T-shirt.

What’s so great about the Math Bonanza?
“Math Bonanzas are like Field Day,” says the project’s Kickstarter page. “You hang out with your team, meet kids from other teams, and have fun testing yourself against your peers.  Only one kid wins the High Jump, but everyone has fun and gets a little faster, stronger, and healthier, and then takes their excitement back to class.”

Like Field Day, the Math Bonanza has different events with different rules. Some tests are for individuals, while some are for teams; most tests allow scratch paper, while one requires all work to be done in your head; some tests are of general knowledge, while others are topic-specific.

The Math Bonanza began four years ago, when Tom, the Seahurst Math Club’s Advisor, invited elementary students from across the district to show up at Seahurst after school on a Friday for an afternoon competition.

“To build the contest up quickly, we didn’t charge a registration fee the first year. Over 200 students pre-registered, and honestly, it was a little too much for the space we had,” Tom added.

The students loved it though, and it’s become an institution since then, with registration fees and concessions that have raised nearly $10,000 for the Seahurst PTA. In fact, the Seahurst Math Bonanza has a sister contest, born the next year when a friend of Tom’s took the same materials and did the same thing at Wildwood Elementary School in the Federal Way school district. Schools in both districts have started their own math clubs in response, and one even started its own contest!

“It’s been so great for the kids, and so great for the schools, that I really think other districts should do something similar,” says Tom. “If I show them how great it can be, and how easy it is to do, I think they will.” His Kickstarter project is trying to raise $5,000 for “tests, trophies, T-shirts, and fun” in three districts around Puget Sound. “Actually, I think I’ll blow through that goal, but I wanted to play it safe.” Kickstarter only collects money on your behalf if you reach your fundraising goal; if you’re a dollar short, your project doesn’t happen. “There are many weekends in a year and I would be excited to run twenty contests if the Kickstarter community should be so generous.”

Here’s a video:

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