CMS/SMC
Société mathématique du Canada
www.smc.math.ca
Société mathématique du Canada
  location:  Communautéfonds de dotationaperçu
Communauté        
Title of Project: Saskatchewan Mathematics Challenge

Year of Competition: 2004

Grant amount: $2500

Project Duration: Multi-Year

Type of Report: Annual

Period Covered: 2005-2007

Description of Activity:
In partnership with the Saskatchewan Mathematics Teachers' Society (SMTS) we developed a made in Saskatchewan mathematics contest for grades 8 through 10 - the Saskatchewan Mathematics Challenge. The proposal required devising and producing the exams through the creation of design templates, marking templates, a problem database, etc., that could be easily used and updated in subsequent years. The exam itself had three parts, the last two of which were team events. We consider the reliance on the team aspect important as the contest is to stress a 'math is fun' atmosphere. Teams from schools from all over the province met for a day on the University of Regina (U of R) campus (about 300 students registered); the evaluation was done immediately, followed by an awards ceremony. Recognition was given to the top ten individuals in each grade level and to the top ten teams in each grade level; awards (such as mathematics books or school plaques) were given to the top three individuals and teams in each grade level.

Assessment of Effectiveness:
Through leveraging the Endowment Grant the Saskatchewan Mathematics Challenge became a cooperative project (with attracted support) of the U of R's Department of Mathematics and Statistics ($500), the SMTS ($1500), the Faculties of Science ($1000), Engineering ($1000) and Education ($1000) and teachers thoughout the province. Details of the exam and surrounding events can be found at http://www.math.uregina.ca/~mathchal/. Our discussions after the exam and our evaluations of the whole process were most encouraging - students were typically very pleased and even those that did not fare so well vowed to come more prepared for the challenge next year. Most important was the dialogue formed between the University and the school communities and their teachers. Local press coverage added another positive dimension.

Future Plans (if any):
The spread of the single exam over students from the three grades introduced some design difficulties as did the team nature of two parts of the exam. These will be addressed. Attracting volunteers to help compose the challenge was problematic but the SMTS is presently recruiting help in this area. As to the development of a data base of problems, the CMS Endowment Grant over the next two years will be mainly devoted to that and again the SMTS is seeking candidates to help out in that area - the U of R Math Department will also assist in this matter. The SMTS will commit funds to honoraria should enough volunteers not be found in future years. The exam is scheduled to be at the U of R every second year and the success of the 2005 contest has lead to positive steps being taken to hold the challenge in alternate years at the University of Saskatchewan. We may have a bilingual exam in the future if certain leads pan out.

Financial:

REVENUE
CMS Endowment Grant$2500.00

EXPENSES
Professional fees and Honoraria $1000 (two teachers)$1000.00
Promotional material$130.45
Printing and duplicating$916.98
Travel (to SMTS Meeting)$300.11

REVENUE less EXPENSES $152.46

Other funding leveraged

REVENUE
University of Regina$3500.00
SMTS$1500.00
Registrations$1825.00

EXPENSES
Book Awards, Plaques, etc.$1556.06
Snacks, lunches for teachers, coaches and students$2491.51
Honoraria for student markers (24 students)$960.00
Supplies, advertising$83.15
Travel (marking adminsitrator)$325.08

REVENUE less EXPENSES $1409.20

Unused CMS funds ($152) will be committed to continued development of the exam; unused leveraged funds are also being committed by the SMTS to the test development and data bank development (acknowledging the time limitations of the Endowment Grant).

Contact Name: Denis Hanson

[May 13, 2005]


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