CMS/SMC
Société mathématique du Canada
www.smc.math.ca
Société mathématique du Canada
  location:  Communautéfonds de dotationaperçu
Communauté        
Title of Project: Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest-Game

Year of Competition: 2006

Grant amount: $2500

Project Duration: Single Year

Type of Report: Annual

Period Covered: 2007

Description of Activity:
Math Kangaroo is an annual contest for students in grades 3-12, currently available in Canada in the following cities: Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, St. John's, and Montreal. In October 2006 the Canadian Math Kangaroo joined the International Association "Kangaroo without borders". In 2007 three new centres offered the contest in Calgary, St. John's, and Montreal. The number of entries in Canada increased from 318 in 2006 to 771 in 2007. Various pre- and post-contest activities, popularizing math among students, parents, and educators, were organized. These activities included training sessions, parents' contests, and award ceremonies. In July 2007 a group of five winners and a supervisor from Canada traveled to Romania for a summer Math Kangaroo camp. A new online registration system, which will be an important component for administering the registration process and the communication between organizers and participants, is under development.

Detailed information on the Canadian contest is available on-line at: www.mathkangaroocanada.com.

Assessment of Effectiveness:
Canada became a member of the International Association "Kangaroo without Borders" in October, 2006, during the organization's 14th Annual Meeting in Barcelona. Valeria Pandelieva, a representative of the Canadian Math Kangaroo, gave a talk in support of our application, including a presentation on the Canadian Math Kangaroo.

The 2007 contest became available for students in six cities, such as Ottawa (226), Toronto (337), Edmonton (49), Calgary (97), St. John's (45), and Montreal (17). In total, 771 students took part in the 2007 contest. By grades there were: 119 students in grade 3; 152 in grade 4; 103 in grade 5; 86 in grade 6; 92 in grade 7; 50 in grade 8; 37 in grade 10; 21 in grade 11; and 34 in grade 12. The three new contest centres (Calgary, St. John's, and Montreal) not only provided opportunity for more students from more regions to have access to the contest, but also increased the contest's reputation and credentials in Canada, thus making it more popular, interesting, and engaging.

Our coordinators did a tremendous job advertising, registering, administering, and organizing the pre-contest activities. Their enthusiasm and professionalism made the contest day a great experience for participants and parents. After the contest, we prepared and organized award ceremonies and celebrations for the best performances by students. Training sessions and an unofficial parents' contest on the contest day proved to be very successful in the past editions. Therefore, this year we continued to offer training sessions in cities such as Ottawa and Edmonton. The group of five winners who traveled to the International Math Kangaroo Summer Camp in Romania brought back excellent impressions and memories. The "York Region News, Richmond Hill Liberal" published an article for one of the Kangaroo winners Shannon Wong, mentioning the contest.

The Math Kangaroo contest provided opportunities for university students to gain experience in organizing school math competitions through their involvement in the following activities: explaining challenging mathematical and logical concepts to young students during the problem-solving training; supervision during the contest; contest papers evaluation; and overall contest organization.

This year we started the design and the development of an enhanced Website that can facilitate the organizers in administering the contest. Currently, we have a contestant's registration form completed, and the development of an administrator interface started. A Web developer (a student from Concordia University College of Alberta) worked during the summer of 2007 for a period of 6 weeks, 30 hours per week, under the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP). This program was developed by Alberta Employment, Immigration and Industry, and community partners to help Albertans who would benefit from temporary employment during the spring and summer months - typically post-secondary students and high school students.

The results from the 2007 contest are encouraging and stimulating. The number of participants across Canada increased more than twice in comparison to year 2006. Although these numbers are not comparable to the numbers of participants in other countries, this is a significant progress for us, taking into account the specifics of the Education System in Canada (which is decentralized in the provinces, there being many school boards, even within the same city), which do not allow any national-wide promotion or co-ordination through schools. We now often receive e-mails and inquiries from parents who are looking for Math Enrichment activities for their children and have decided to contact us or have been directed to us, as a party that provides challenging math experience.

Other Support:
The support from the Canadian Mathematical Society through the Endowment Grant Program attracted additional funding. We also received financial support from IEEE Northern Canada Section for assisting with the organization of the Math Kangaroo and from Concordia University College of Alberta thought the STEP (Summer Temporary Employment Program) program in order to hire a web developer during the summer to work on the new Math Kangaroo Website.

Future Plans (if any):
We continue our campaign for expanding the contest nationally. We expect Winnipeg and Moncton to join the 2008 Math Kangaroo contest, and Montreal to increase the number of entries.

Our future plans include:

  • Popularizing the idea of organizing training sessions in all cities which later will become Math Kangaroo clubs or groups.
  • Assisting contest winners in financial needs to attend international math camps.
  • The increasing entry numbers require processing large amounts of information at both local and national levels, coordination of organizers, and exchanging information with contestants. Although an online registration system www.math.concordia.ab.ca/kangaroo/registration/ has been developed and can be used for the 2008 contest, we have to continue to enhance the Math Kangaroo Website. A French version of the Math Kangaroo Website, mandatory in a bilingual country such as Canada, has to be developed and maintained.
  • Organizing workshops for Math Kangaroo local organizers.

We will describe our future plans in more details in the new application we plan to submit for the 2007 CMS EG competition.

Financial:
In 2007, because of the support we received, we succeeded in keeping the fees low. We collected $12 per participant to cover the costs of organizing the event. Training courses were offered in Ottawa and Edmonton at the cost of $5 per participant. Hosting institutions helped us covering costs of advertising and hosting the event.

REVENUE
   Total6860.00
CMS Endowment Grant2500.00
IEEE Sponsorship500.00
Fees paid by participating cities ($5 per contestant)3860.00
EXPENSES
   Total5425.64
Accounting (Canadian Math Kangaroo contest registration)281.91
Administering and coordinating internationally1435.58
Awards - medals, plaques, postal1009.74
Logo design100.00
Canadian Math Kangaroo Stats & Graphs preparation100.00
Payroll Expense for Website Development2498.41
BALANCE
    Total    1434.36

Remark: Please note that the above financial statement presents only the national (not local) expenses and revenue. Local organizers collected $12 per participant. Examples of local expenditures include office supplies (all cities), badges for participants (Toronto), rental for rooms for the contest and a hall for the award ceremony (Toronto), books (Calgary). Other expenses are for volunteers' gift certificates (Edmonton), postage (all cities), lunches (Ottawa, Edmonton), banking (Ottawa and Toronto), etc.

We can provide additional information on how participating cities spent the rest ($7) of collected fees if needed.

Unused funds, which also include a reimbursement for payroll expenses for Website development, will be used by the end of 2007 as follows:

  • To cover expenses of Valeria Pandelieva to travel to Graz, Austria in order to attend the 15th Annual Assembly meeting (approximately $1,525);
  • To pay the membership fee to the International Association "Kangaroo without Borders" (50 EUR = approximately $75). We were not required to pay it for the first year, 2007, of our membership;
  • To continue the work on the Website ($1,000) we started during the summer;
  • To order customized mechanical pencils (or other souvenirs) for future contests (1,000).

The CMS logo appears on the Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest Website, contest materials, prizes, reports, registration forms, advertising letters, letters of results, and letters with winners' names to schools, etc.

Contact Name: Rossitza S. Marinova

[September 28, 2007]


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