Competition Fostering Mathematical Problem Solving and Technical Writing Skills
The USA Mathematical Talent Search(USAMTS) is a free mathematics competition open to all US middle school and high school students. Unlike most mathematics competitions, the USAMTS allows students a full month, or more, to work out their solutions. Carefully written justifications are required for each problem. The problems range in difficulty from being within the reach of most high school students to challenging the best students in the nation. Students may use any materials—books, calculators, computers—but all the work must be their own. Mathematicians grade students’ solutions to the problems and return their comments to students. The competition not only fosters insight, ingenuity, and creativity; it also promotes perseverance, which is equally essential in scientific endeavors. The 2019–2020 Round 2 Problems and Round 1 Solutions are now available. Students are welcome to participate in Round 2 even if they did not complete Round 1. The USAMTS is a program of the nonprofit Art of Problem Solving Initiative.
The Noetic Learning Math Contest is a semiannual problem-solving competition for elementary and middle school students. The goal of the competition is to encourage students’ interest in math, to develop their problem-solving skills, and to inspire students to excel in math.
Calculus in Virtual Reality (CalcVR), an app for iOS, uses a Google Cardboard headset to enable the user to visualize concepts in multivariable calculus within a virtual reality setting. Users can specify their own objects for visualization, as well as go through lessons on the geometry and calculus of multivariable functions and the corresponding surfaces.
The Museum of Science, Boston, develops exhibits, programs, and curricula that empower children to become lifelong STEM learners and passionate problem solvers. The museum offers seven engineering curricula (preK–12): “We Engineer,” “EiE for Kindergarten,” “Engineering is Elementary,” “Engineering Adventures,” “Engineering Everywhere,” “Building Math,” and “Engineering the Future.