The National K-12 Game-a-thon challenges students to design, build, and share a game that features creative and unusual solutions to mathematical problems.
Teams of one or more students, along with a teacher or parent in a coordinator role, invent card games, board games, apps, and outdoor games that address one or more mathematical topics. Throughout the process, students develop critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration skills, and more. The challenge is designed to help students engage in math outside of the traditional classroom environment, providing an avenue to promote creative thinking in mathematics.
Thank you to all of our 2020 participating students and their coaches. We had entries from eleven states across the country. Here's a fun fact: Pennsylvania was the state with the most participants!
This year, our judges came from the STEM, gaming, and nonprofit sectors. Thank you to our friends at SolarFlare Games, John Deere, Pitney Bowes, Unfiltered Gamer, American Heart Association, and Lockheed Martin who sat on our judges panel.
Judges reported that they truly enjoyed watching these student-created videos and were delighted by all participants’ love for math!
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for—our 2020 top teams! The games highlighted below stood out for their exceptional abilities to:
Seamlessly integrate math into the gameplay,
Give players the opportunity to develop their own strategy for solving problems, and
Include content that ensures players can think deeply and use mathematical reasoning
These teams will receive printed certificates, MathMINDs specialty items, and Turtle Sums board games.
Haunted Manor Rush by Rory McBriar Warren Area Elementary Center in Warren, Pennsylvania
From the judges: "Wow! I loved this game. You made me want to bake some pumpkin cookies, sit down, and play! The game board looks professional—clean and visually pleasing. Great job incorporating word problems. I also really appreciated how you touched on play testing."
Western Geometry by Western Geometry Wylie Elementary in Dexter, Michigan
From the judges: “Excellent use of tokens, board space, and the actual western side of the country. It's got a bit of a geography lesson and geometry lesson all in one. It looks like you or someone in the family has played some modern board games!"
Number Frenzy by Math is Magic Cabin John Middle School in North Potomac, Maryland
From the judges: “This game looks like so much fun! It reminds me of word scrambler games, and I enjoyed the integration of math. I hope you continue fine-tuning this game. It seems exciting to play. Great delivery!"
These teams will receive printed certificates and MathMINDs specialty items.
What a Water Math!! by Water Math Team Catherine Kolnaski Magnet School in Groton, Connecticut
From the judges: “This enthusiastic student did an excellent job explaining and showing how the game works. That includes the rules and playing an actual game with multiple players. The prototype of the game was well designed."
Magnet Squirm by Magnet Squirmers Marshall Elementary in Sewickley, Pennsylvania
From the judges: “It was easy to follow how the game works with this effective presentation by the student. The use of the magnets with the board was an innovative, unique approach. Nice job with the video showing the game!"
NHL Hockey Math by Hockey Wylie Elementary in Dexter, Michigan
From the judges: “As soon as I saw the board, I was intrigued. It felt inviting. I also liked the way you made the pieces. We also appreciated the way that you integrated math and sports to keep learning fun."
Congratulations to all of our 2020 Game-a-thon participants! Your coaches will be receiving prizes this month to distribute to team members. We look forward to seeing your creativity and mathematical problem-solving skills shine again next year.
Stay tuned for 2021 Game-a-thon updates! We may have some surprises in store for you. 😉
About the Author
Kelsey Skaggs is the Communications Manager at MIND Research Institute. She enjoys highlighting the work of colleagues and partners who champion MIND's mission.