Taking a different angle by making math a game

Tenth annual event held by aspiring teachers.
Sunday, March 13, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 5:03 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

David Moore, 11, and his friend, Mason Nistendirk, 11, were getting stickers to put on the cards around their necks.

“That was fun,” David said to Mason about the math game that involved pulling plastic eggs with Velcro off a poster board.

They were two of the many fifth-grade students from the Columbia area that participated in the 10th annual Math Fair for Kids at Stotler Lounge in Memorial Union on Saturday morning.

The event consisted of about 30 booths with math games, ranging anywhere from filling out multiplication charts to blowing square- and triangle-shaped bubbles. After playing a game, the student received a sticker, and five stickers could be redeemed for a prize.

The fair was held by the MU Mathematics Teacher Organization, a group of MU students who are studying to be teachers.

The organization sends out invitations to all of the fifth-graders within a 30-mile radius of Columbia.

“Usually 150 to 200 students attend the fair,” said Shannon Dingman, the fair’s coordinator. “We have been working on putting the fair together since December, but we have been fund raising all year.”

The organization holds the event every year in an effort to make math fun because its members think that many students find math difficult or boring.

Angie Dishinger and her son Garrett, 10, enjoyed the fair.

“He was excited to come this morning, and I don’t think math is his favorite subject,” Dishinger said. “I don’t think he’s getting the answers as fast as the other kids, but he’s having fun.”

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