Making Math Fun

Dec 18, 2010 | Champlin Park
December 2010
Making math fun

Article and photos can be found at:

What do you get when you put together the Girl Scouts of Camden Wirth Oaks Service Unit, Mathnasium of Brooklyn Park, Richard Allen Math and Science Academy (RAMSA), and other supportive community partners? Add them all up and you get a unique community event for young people and their families that promotes strong math skills in a fun and practical way. You will not want to miss the Math Triathlon, taking place Saturday, Jan. 8 from 3-5 pm at RAMSA, 5140 Freemont Avenue North, Minneapolis.

Children from kindergarten through twelfth grade will benefit from the nearly twenty hands-on activity stations that will feature fun math-related games that help kids to see the necessity and relevance of math skills in everyday life. In addition, kids will have an opportunity to win prizes, sample Girl Scout cookies, and enjoy a healthy snack. Participating Girl Scouts will even be able to earn a “Math Whiz” fun patch to display on their uniforms.

Since the Math Triathlon focuses on math-empowerment for young people, Richard Allen Math and Science Academy also seems to be a logical partner It’s apparent that Principal Bondo Nyembwe wholeheartedly agrees. He explained that one of his middle school’s non-academic goals is to have at least 50% of the students participate in at least one math, science, or technology competition/fair each year. Also, RAMSA actively seeks quality collaboration opportunities for students. In addition to hosting the event at his school, his students have become involved by competing to design the winning Girl Scout “Math Whiz” fun patch. To encourage further student enthusiasm, both the Girl Scouts of Camden Wirth Service Unit and select RAMSA youth will also serve as student ambassadors during the event. This type of student engagement supports the community partners’ shared goal; promoting increased interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers and education, especially for girls and children of color.

The inspiration for the Math Triathlon came from Girl Scout Troop 13779 Leader, Lisa Anderson. As a new leader for her daughter’s troop, she noticed that some of the girls in the troop were having difficulty providing change to customers during Girl Scout cookie booth selling. In addition, Anderson also noticed her own daughter struggling in math in school, and becoming discouraged. After doing some research, Anderson decided that Mathnasium, a specialized math-learning center in Brooklyn Park, was the best fit for her daughter, Dee Dee. Anderson quickly noticed very positive results; higher grades, a “love” of math, and more self-confidence.

(photo) Scott and a student from Mathnasium It was then that Anderson knew she needed to spread two messages: 1. like her daughter, children can learn to “love” math and have fun doing it. 2. A great new community resource exists that teaches kids how to love math. Anderson was not satisfied with only spreading this message among the Girl Scout families; she wanted to tell all of the community’s young people and their parents about the benefits of Mathnasium. When she approached Scott Bernstein, Director and co-owner of the Brooklyn Park location, and shared her excitement, the vision became clearer. Bernstein, who confesses that as a kid he also hated math, was eager to form a partnership, providing his expertise in designing interesting activity stations, donating supplies, and providing staffing for the event.

Other generous community partners stepped in to lend support to this important cause that ultimately affects the long-term vitality of our entire community. In addition to local colleges and universities, significant contributors that helped to make the event possible include Share, Save, and Spend, King Solutions of Dayton, MN , and Sanctuary Covenant Church

Mark your calendar and come ready to experience math in a fun, new way at the Math Triathlon on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, 3-5pm, at RAMSA. The cost is only $5 in advance of the event and $7 at the door for children; parents are admitted for free (In addition, a parents’ lounge-area will be provided). Pre-registration for the event is highly recommended. Registration is available online until Monday January 3rd, 2011.

Register today at:

For additional questions, contact Karlie Hammes with Girl Scouts at [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (763) 535-4602.