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National Math Trimathlon Pushes Math Muscles to the Limit

Lake Forest math tutoring center Mathnasium brings out the ‘fun’ in math for a weekend of competition and games.

Math competition x 3 = Trimathlon.

Twelve students participated in the nation-wide “Trimathlon” competition at the Mathnasium math-tutoring center in Lake Forest Saturday. Children in grades three through six completed three 15-minute exams involving counting games and “mental math workouts.”

“We try to be positive and encouraging with our students,” said Mathnasium Lake Forest Director Clay Brown. “We give students a game plan to make complex problems easier.”

In addition to positive reinforcement, the math-tutoring center utilizes bright visuals for the younger crowds and “mental math” games to provide a different way of looking at problems, Brown said. Little did this writer know, she was in for a math quiz when asked what was half of 243, without using any calculator and much less, paper.

“Some of the kids that come here are super confident in their math skills and others ― they learn to find that confidence,” said Lina Russo, marketing director at Lake Forest Mathnasium. “A lot of times it becomes a personal thing where they find confidence with not only math, but also with themselves.” 

As the students worked, the sound of pencils scribbling across paper echoed though the room. However, once someone brought in Domino’s pizza, focused eyes immediately broke away from the math, and the room turned giddy with excitement for the lunch, cake and the awards that followed.

“We cater to each individual child’s learning style,” said Brown. “It’s all about making hard math simple.”

Participants receive goody bags, medals and awards; national winners receive $10,000 in prizes.

Charles September 30, 2012 at 01:49 AM
48÷2(9+3) = ? A) 2 B) 288 I wonder how many of those kids would get this one above correct. [And I really wonder how many of their parents would get it correct.] What's the correct answer?

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