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 Outreach Training Program

Year of Competition: 2010

Grant amount: $1900

Project Duration: Single Year

Type of Report: Annual

Period Covered: 2011

Description of Activity:
The Canadian Math Kangaroo outreach programs focus on providing students in the age range of 8 to 18 with the opportunity to experience and explore mathematics. The organization's purpose is to share the joy of mathematics with youth through an annual math competition and short-term and yearlong training opportunities. All of the components are inclusive and open to students from a diverse range of abilities, regardless of their gender or family and financial backgrounds. The training activities are an integral part of the program currently including on-campus and online practice sessions and math clubs.

Assessment of Effectiveness:
Competition Information

The 2011 competition was available for students in the following cities (number of entries in parentheses): Calgary (87), Edmonton (189), Mississauga (140), Langley (40), Lunenburg (3), Montreal (32), Ottawa (296), Scarborough (202), St. John's (17), Sudbury (17), Toronto (302), and Winnipeg (57). In total, 1382 students took part in the 2011 contest. By grades there were: 162 students in grade 3; 213 in grade 4; 225 in grade 5; 214 in grade 6; 179 in grade 7; 172 in grade 8; 97 in grade 9; 55 in grade 10; 42 in grade 11; and 23 in grade 12.

The contest participation has grown steadily since 2006 with approximately 16% in 2011, 9% in 2010, and 40% in 2009. For the past years, the number of contest centres and the number of participants has increased. Nevertheless, analysing the data about the world participation from http://www.math-ksf.org/, one may see that the number of participants in Canada as well as USA is relatively small compared to the thousands of participants in other, smaller countries. This is because Canada and USA are the only two countries in the International Association where the Math Kangaroo contest is not directly promoted by a Ministry of Education, due to the decentralization of educational affairs. Clearly, there is a great potential and demand for the competition to grow in Canada.

Website

The website www.mathkangaroocanada.com has served the Canadian Math Kangaroo for a number of years. It is providing information related to the competition to contestants and other interested people. It is also used for subscribing to the contest and its activities such as clubs and preparation classes.

The administrator's part of the website http://kangaroo.math.concordia.ab.ca/admin/ is used by city coordinators for managing the registration and the administration of the contest.

Although a well functioning and operating website exists, it is still necessary to update and maintain it. For instance, in 2011 it was necessary to develop a system for online training registration and management of registrations.

Training

Math Kangaroo-related clubs, classes, and preparation sessions inspire and promote interest and excellence in math among students.

(1) Math clubs: The long-time planned math clubs became a reality in the winter of 2010 for students from Edmonton and the surrounding area. Math clubs raised in popularity in fall 2010/winter 2011 with more than 200 participating students (primarily from elementary schools) in club sessions organized in Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa. In Edmonton, math clubs for elementary students (grades 2-6) ran on a weekly basis from January to March in 2010 and 2011. There were three levels this year, Pre-Kangaroo, Kangaroo 1, and Kangaroo 2. Students could attend more than one level because sessions did not run simultaneously. Club topics included: simple and more advanced counting techniques; patterns and relations; perimeters; areas; volumes; working backwards method; calendar; clock; simple clever calculations; logic; measures; shapes and perspectives; numbers and digits; solving equations and word problems; number puzzles; property of numbers; pigeon-hole principle; divisibility! ; factors; percentage, among others.

(2) On-campus practice sessions: The following centers organized sessions: Calgary; The Greater Toronto Area; Ottawa; Edmonton; Montreal; and Langley. The Math Kangaroo volunteers in Calgary organized extensive training from the fall 2010 until March 2011. In Edmonton, there was one day training on March 22 for all interested students from grade 3 to 12. Ottawa centre, as usual, offered training twice for students in grades 3-7. The training fee for on-campus classes varied from $0 to $5 per participant. The Greater Toronto Area practice sessions, conducted on March 12 and March 19, were without charge. Fees for students from low-income families were waived.

(3) Online interactive training: In March 2011 we hosted free for participants online interactive training classes for students across Canada. Three sessions in English were held on March 19 for students in grades 3 and 4, 5 and 6, and 7 and 8. Another three sessions, for the participants in French, were offered on March 26. There was lots of interest in the Math Kangaroo web training classes with a total of more than 250 participants. Undergraduate and graduate students from Concordia University College of Alberta and the University of Toronto, as well as the Math Kangaroo coordinator from Montreal Ildiko Pelczer assisted with the preparation and delivery of the online classes.

By attending practice lessons, contestants could approach challenging questions with a positive attitude, and managed better their time during the contest. There were more perfect scores (twelve) in the 2011 competition compared to past years (eight in 2010, two in 2009, and three in 2008. As well, in 2011 there were 38 students with scores higher than 110 (out of 120) compared to 26 in 2010, 6 in 2009, and 12 in 2008).

(4) Local summer Math Kangaroo camps: This year, 2011, we approached parents and students from several cities, Toronto, Edmonton, and Ottawa, to learn about their interest for participating in summer Math Kangaroo camps. The coordinators in Toronto area even announced summer Math Kangaroo camps. They asked parents for their opinion and requested if they were interested in enrolling their children. The responses were very positive. During the contest in Edmonton area, parents were surveyed about math and science camps; parents from Edmonton expressed high interest in summer math/science camps organized by Concordia University College of Alberta and Math Kangaroo. Another city, Ottawa, explored and started preparing summer math camps. In the end, due to some organizational matters, math camps could not start the summer of 2011. However, the preparation for the summer camps started; we know what is expected from us. Camps will be hosted in 2012.

(5) International Math Kangaroo camps: The Canadian Math Kangaroo did not receive as well as did not request invitations to international camps this year. We could not afford sending groups because the organization was unable to support participants and an eligible adult supervisor. In addition, Canadians and USA Math Kangaroo organizers are discussing ways how to held Kangaroo Summer Camp in North America so that more Canadian and American Kangaroo participants can attend camp on home territory.

We developed materials for the training sessions and the clubs. Where appropriate, students from math and education programs were involved in assisting in preparing materials. Math Kangaroo contest again provided opportunities for university students to gain experience in organizing school math competitions. Students were involved in the online and on-campus training sessions as well as in the overall contest organization.

Publications:

  1. Math Kangaroo Contest: Questions and Solutions 2011 Grade 7 and 8. Concordia University College of Alberta. June 2011.
  2. Math Kangaroo Contest: Questions and Solutions 2011 Grade 9 and 10. Concordia University College of Alberta. June 2011.
  3. Math Kangaroo Contest: Questions and Solutions 2011 Grade 11 and 12. Concordia University College of Alberta. June 2011.
  4. Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest: Questions and Solutions 2008-2010 Grade 3 and 4. Concordia University College of Alberta. February 2011.
  5. Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest: Questions and Solutions 2008-2010 Grade 5 and 6. Concordia University College of Alberta. February 2011.
  6. Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest: Questions and Solutions 2008-2010 Grade 7 and 8. Concordia University College of Alberta. February 2011.
  7. Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest: Questions and Solutions 2008-2010 Grade 9 and 10. Concordia University College of Alberta. February 2011.
  8. Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest: Questions and Solutions 2008-2010 Grade 11 and 12. Concordia University College of Alberta. February 2011. The final report from the workshop is available online: http://www.birs.ca/workshops/2010/10w2174/report10w2174.pdf.
  9. The first Canadian Math Kangaroo Workshop www.birs.ca/events/2010/2-day-workshops/10w2174/ press was held 26-28 November 2010 in Banff, Alberta. It was attended by 17 participants from Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, and Manitoba.
  10. Rossitza S Marinova gave a presentation 'Math Kangaroo Outreach Activities in Alberta' at the Alberta Colleges Mathematics Conference. Calgary, Alberta, May 5-6, 2011.
  11. We received media attention through an article published in the Calgary Herald 2011.

Other Support:

We are extremely grateful to CMS EG for the continuous support. This support enabled us to start and continue to run our program. As well, the support from the Canadian Mathematical Society through the Endowment Grant Program attracted additional funding.

In the fall of 2010, the Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest received financial support from:

  • IEEE Northern Canada Section for assisting with the organization: $1000;
  • BIRS for hosting the two-day Canadian Math Kangaroo Workshop November 2010;
  • PIMS for travel to the BIRS workshop;
  • Hosting institutions for covering costs of advertising and hosting the event;

Local support: - Math Kangaroo Edmonton received $5000 from Telus.

Future Plans (if any):
We plan to continue running all of our educational and promotional activities for popularizing mathematics among students, parents, and educators.

The math club materials developed and used already in Edmonton and other cities will be published officially in 2012.

Financial:

Revenue:
ItemActualPlanned
Training Registration Fee ($0 online, $0-$5 on campus)$1200$4050
Institutions' contribution (hosting, advertising, space, in-kind salaries)$4000$4000
NCS IEEE sponsorship$1000$1000
CMS Endowment Grant$1900$2472
Total Revenue$8100$11522
Expenses (Oct 1, 2010 - Sept 30, 2011):
Salaries for organization staff, students$2530$3500
Equipment, supplies and communication$3249$4500
Advertising, distribution, production of materials$1500$2500
Miscellaneous expenses (fee waiver, personnel development, hospitality, supplies)$670$1022
Total Expenses$7749$11522
Balance:
Total (September 30, 2011)$151$0

Unused funds (if any) will be spent as follows:

  • Preparation of at least two online training for each group category.

The CMS logo appears on the Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest Website, contest materials, prizes, reports, electronic and paper training materials, presentations during meetings and award ceremonies, registration forms, advertising letters, letter of results, and letters with winners' names to schools, etc.

Contact Name: Rossitza S. Marinova

[September 29, 2011]


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