Burns Middle School Competing in Reel Math Challenge

Presidential elections this year have everyone ready to vote. But we need you to vote for something different—MATH VIDEOS!

By: Will Leech

My name is Will Leech, and I’m a member of ‘The Burning Circus,’ one of five teams from Burns Middle School competing in the Reel Math Challenge. We were each given a certain math problem with instructions to write a script, act out, and edit a 5-minute video teaching how to solve the problem, giving real-world applications for the problem, and (trying) to make you laugh. This national competition is sponsored by MATHCOUNTS, a national enrichment, club, and competition program, and the Department of Defense. Just make sure you don’t take this for boring math, because these videos have made these challenging problems into quick, easy, and sometimes hilarious solutions.

We started with just a list of props and a thin plot for our videos, which quickly became storyboards, then scripts, and finally were brought to life by our own acting. This involved numerous phone calls and text messages, repeated trips to the film site for retakes (and re-retakes), and extensive use of rubber chickens, calculators, English accents, and cardboard boxes.

We created a website at www.burnsmath.org to make it easy for you to vote for us throughout the month of January. Just click on the icon for each group and the video will begin playing in a new window. Then click the “LIKE” button to help us advance to the semifinals of the competition! You can vote for each video once a day, and if you have multiple devices that can connect to the internet you can vote with each of them. Only the 20 videos with the highest vote totals will be viewed by the panel of REEL MATH judges—and with your help, that’ll mean us!!

Please help us advance to the semi-finals where we could win an all-expense paid trip to the 2012 National MATHCOUNTS Competition and even college scholarships! Visit www.burnsmath.org today and check out all of the Burns Middle School groups! Thanks for your time and your votes!

The Burns Cookie Monsters with Phoebe Ferguson, Zack Neidig, Jacob Perkel, and Kristen Velez, on patterns in a geometric sequence.

The Burning Circuswith Kaylin Chastain, Brianna Doane, Brady Hawkins, and Will Leech (me), on the area of similar figures.

Burns Spy Guys with Michael Gleason, Tristan Phillips, Chris Thatcher, and Liz Trader, on finding the length of the diagonal of a cube.

Burns Mod Menwith Ben Backes, Joseph Capuiso, Jared Hurt, and Jakob Strawn, on modular arithmetic.

The Good Witch of Burns with Kaylin Chastain, Brevin Rivers, Arielle Weisman, and Alexis Williams, on greatest common factor and least common multiple.