Tina

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13 years, 57 days
I am the Public Relations and Communications Manager at Maplesoft. I manage several Marketing activities such as PR, advertising, customer case studies and sponsorships.

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Fourteen year old Lazar Paroski is an exceptional student. Not only is he an overachiever academically, but he has a passion to help struggling students, and to think of innovative ways to help them learn. Lazar is particularly fond of Math, and in his interactions with other students, he noticed how students have a hard time with Math.

Putting on his creative cap, Lazar came up with the idea of an easily accessible “Math Wall” that explains simple math concepts for students in a very visual way.

“The Music Wall on Pinterest was my inspiration,” says Lazar. “I thought I can use the same idea for Math, and why not a Math Wall”?

"The math wall is basically all the tools you'll have on the wall in your classroom outside," said Lazar. Making the Math Wall and getting it set up, took time and effort. But he had help along the way, which, fueled by his passion and enthusiasm, helped turn his creative dream into reality. Lazar received a grant of $6000 from the local government to implement the project; his teachers, principal and family helped promote it; and the community of parents provided encouragement.

The Math Wall covers fundamental math concepts learnt in grades 1 to 6. Lazar engaged with over 450 students in the community to understand what would really be helpful for students to see in this Math Wall, and then he carefully picked the top themes he wanted to focus on.

The three meter Math Wall is located in the Morrison community park, and was officially inaugurated by the Mayor of Kitchener in July 2018. Many students have already found it to be useful and educative. Parents who bring their children to the park stop by to give their kids a quick math lesson.

At Maplesoft, we love a math story like this! And that too in our backyard! We wanted to appreciate and encourage Lazar and his efforts in making math fun and easy and accessible to students. So we invited Lazar to our offices, gifted him a copy of Maple, and heard more about his passion and future plans. “In many ways, Lazar embodies the same qualities that Maplesoft stands for – making it easy for students to understand and grasp complex STEM concepts,” said Laurent Bernardin, Maplesoft’s Chief Operating Officer. “We try to impress upon students that math matters, even in everyday life, and they can now use advanced, sophisticated technology tools to make math learning fun and efficient.”

We wish Lazar all the very best as he thinks up new and innovative ways to spread his love for math to other kids. Well done, Lazar!

 

 

Maplesoft is a long standing supporter of the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician contest for high school students. For years, we have donated Maple as prizes to winners of the national and regional contests.

This year, being the 25th anniversary of Maplesoft’s incorporation, the company decided to support several projects that encourage the use of math amongst high school students and young adults. We dedicated a bigger budget towards projects that would enable us to make a significant impact on students and impress upon them the need for math and science in their future careers.

One project we undertook this year is giving an extreme makeover to the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician contest! With Maplesoft as a “Technology Sponsor”, the contest that was administered on pen-and-paper moved to a digital format. We donated our testing and assessment tool, Maple T.A. to administer the tests online, making the software accessible to every student that participated. This meant the students took an online test, and were automatically and instantly graded using Maple T.A.

The 2013 competition is underway, and the results are extremely positive:

  • The number of students that participated in the contest doubled this year, with over 2000 students from over 150 schools participating.
  • The competition introduced a second level of tests, making the competition more rigorous. After the first elimination round, eligible contestants moved to a second round with questions of increased difficulty levels.
  • By avoiding much of the paper work and manual corrections, the organizers saw significant savings in time and money.

Custom test questions were created in Maple T.A., which were accessed by students from a server hosted by Maplesoft. The simple and easy to use interface of Maple T.A. enabled the students to take the test without spending time learning the tool. Maple T.A. supports the use of standard mathematical notation in both the question text and student responses. Maple T.A. also allows free-response questions, including questions that have more than one correct answer.

Who Wants to Be a Mathematician is a math contest for high school students, organized by the American Mathematical Society (AMS), as part of its Public Awareness Program. Ten students will be chosen for the semifinals and two will qualify for the finals to be held at the Joint Math Meetings in January 2014.

More information about the contest that is currently in progress can be found on the AMS website

 

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