Mark Haggett (left), principal of RCMA Wimauma Academy, shares a laugh and accepts a trophy from Matific Vice President Lawrence Korchnak.

By Bill Coats

Above Photo: Photo Courtesy of Matific. Mark Haggett (left), principal of RCMA Wimauma Academy, shares a laugh and accepts a trophy from Matific Vice President Lawrence Korchnak.

A Hillsborough County charter school serving the children of low-income farm workers has placed first in a national math competition.

RCMA Wimauma Academy won the US Matific Math Games, a free, online math competition aimed at improving American students’ confidence and math skills in the classroom. The school received its $15,000 prize check in a celebration in March. RCMA, the school’s nonprofit owner, plans to use the $15,000 as seed money toward an open-air sports pavilion.

Mark Haggett, the school’s principal, was euphoric. “Thousands of schools competed in the competition and we were the only school in the competition to have every class finish in the top 10.”

Matific, an award-winning education technology company based in New York, staged the Math Games in February. Students completed Matific interactive mini-games to earn stars.

Matific was developed by math professors and experts in early-age math education and games. It produces award-winning interactive online mini-games, or episodes, to reinforce the mathematical concepts taught by K–6 teachers.

“Matific offers our hearty congratulations to the winners of the Matific Math Games Challenge, and we’d like to thank all of the participating schools for joining in this exciting competition,” said Kevin Sherman, Matific CEO. “Matific is a company committed to offering immersive math games to children around the world. With this competition, we hope students had the chance to find a new appreciation for math, and learn how excellent math skills can help them to accomplish larger goals in life.”

RCMA’s three charter schools have excelled at math in recent years, thanks in part to innovative teaching methods that include memory aids such as rhymes and chants. On the math portion of last year’s Florida Standards Assessments, the third grade at RCMA Wimauma Academy became one of only 11 statewide in which every student passed.

For more information, visit Matific.com.