Hi, I am Chris (Senior of Homestead High). Here is our story
From a young age, students in the Bay Area find themselves divided into either honors-level or regular math classes. In this fiercely competitive environment, they are constantly bombarded with practice problems and pressured to attend numerous extracurricular tutoring programs. Unfortunately, under these demanding circumstances, most young learners gradually lose the limitless curiosity they once held for mathematics and the joy of learning. Consequently, without a genuine passion for math, students often give up when they encounter challenges in more advanced math levels during middle school and beyond.
I firmly believe that this is not the most effective approach to nurturing a love for mathematics, and I am determined to instigate change. I've always had a fondness for do-it-yourself (DIY) and hands-on activities, along with a strong affinity for games and puzzles. After reading Jane McGonigal's book, "Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World," I immediately conceived the idea of blending my passion for DIY and math games and incorporating them into my math tutoring classes. Building on this concept, with increasingly positive feedback from both my students and their parents, I rallied a team of twenty dedicated volunteers and began organizing math festivals in local schools, libraries, and community events.
Over time, I came to realize that creating math games and hosting math festivals not only benefits our participants but also empowers our volunteers to develop essential skills for the future, including communication, leadership, social influence, and emotional intelligence. I believe these projects serve as bridges between different generations and help close the gap between the world of academia and the real world.