In school, most students learn that math is nothing more than memorizing formulas and carrying out procedures. The JRMF mission is to show every student that problem solving is not only accessible but also fun. Unlike competition or other math organizations, we measure success at JRMF by how many students leave our events saying “I can do this” and “This was fun!” If you would like to support our work in giving every student the opportunity to problem solve with agency, collaboration, play, and joy, you can donate to us by clicking the Donate button. For a more detailed description of our current projects, keep reading below.
Online Math Festival
Prior to Covid, in-person math festivals gave students the opportunity to problem solve with agency. With multiple activity tables to choose from, each staffed by a trained facilitator, students choose their activities and the length of time they spend at each one. Unlike school and competition-based organizations, students decided on the direction of their mathematical journeys themselves. JRMF will replicate this agency in the digital world with its upcoming Online Math Festival that will take place on Gather.Town, a new platform that mixes a video game with a Zoom call. Students will have the freedom to walk around the digital space, choose which activities they spend their time on, and experience exclusive digital experiences, like our virtual walking puzzles.
As society begins to open back up, we want to provide communities around the world with the resources and support they need to easily put on successful math festivals. JRMF is developing a suite of Festival Kits that provide festival hosts with reasonably priced, pre-sorted, and customized materials to help make putting on a math festival as affordable and hassle-free as possible. A JRMF Festival Kit will include student guides with instructions and guiding questions, facilitator guides with JRMF’s philosophy and practical suggestions, and customized manipulatives to make every festival a unique experience. Festival hosts can also purchase additional resources including posters, festival decorations, and mathematical goody bags that festival-goers can take home after the event. JRMF Festival Kits will allow anyone, anywhere to bring a fully-stocked math festival to their community with a single purchase.
Despite our small team, we work hard to support every parent, teacher, and community leader who wants to put on a festival with free consultations on how to plan, organize, set up, and run a math festival. In order to keep up with this demand, JRMF will organize and run a JRMF ambassador program, in which volunteers from our community will be trained on how to help future hosts learn how to put on a successful math festival. Our goal is to have at least one JRMF ambassador in every state, so no matter where a math festival is taking place, there will be a nearby representative, well-trained in JRMF’s pedagogy and available resources, to provide support.