Calabasas, Calif. — The Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival (JRMF) is excited to announce the launch of virtual classroom visits, a free service that will bring game-based math to low-income schools in the U.S. Research shows that game-based learning increases critical thinking and problem-solving skills*, and the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival will use math games during its visits to engage and educate K-12 students.
“The Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival sees the struggles our teachers are facing due to the pandemic, and we want to help,” says Daniel Kline, executive director. “We have spent the last 14 years planning the biggest math party around, and now we are bringing that same festival experience to classrooms.”
Classroom visits are one hour and will allow students to engage in one virtual JRMF math activity. The sessions will be led by JRMF staff or trained volunteers over Zoom or Google Meet.
A recent pilot of the program in a 4th grade classroom demonstrated a 9% increase in the joy of learning math after only one virtual session.
“The [JRMF] puzzles and games are so fun and entertaining, and it helps you learn at the same time!” says 4th grader Adeline.
JRMF classroom visits create several benefits for teachers:
- Play-based math: Play-based learning strengthens physical, cognitive, social and emotional health. Self-directed exploration increases a student’s creativity and problem solving skills. JRMF activities are both playful and educational.
- Collaboration and connection: During our activities, students talk and collaborate with one another. Trained volunteers and staff interact and engage with students as they work together. What results is a fun, communal atmosphere (that also enhances social and verbal skills).
- A break from lesson planning: COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on educators. Classroom visits help alleviate some stress and bring joy to teachers and students.
Teachers can sign up for a free classroom visit at https://www.jrmf.org/classroom-visits.
About Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival
The Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival is a nonprofit on a mission to inspire joy in mathematics through exploration and collaboration. We do this by engaging educators and students through festive events, supporting underserved and underrepresented communities, and creating high-quality, accessible materials. Since our first math festival at Google’s headquarters, we have supported almost 500 hosts in organizing events that engage K–12 students and their teachers. More than 40,000 people have created magical math moments across 26 states, 17 countries, and 6 continents.
* Deniz Eseryel, et al, “An Investigation of the Interrelationships between Motivation, Engagement, and Complex Problem Solving in Game-based Learning,” Educational Technology & Society, 2014.
Kim Burdett leads marketing and fundraising for the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival (JRMF). An Ohio native, she loves the Buckeyes and cheese coneys. She is passionate about education and creative thinking, and enjoys puzzles, podcasts, pitbulls and Pi Day.