May 15, 2009

Who knew math was so exciting?

Thursday morning I was in Astoria shooting the Mental Math competition between area elementary schools. Teams of students from 3rd-8th grade compete in a three-part challenge of their wits, answering complicated math problems in their mind (no writing stuff down or scratch paper).
I've found in shooting things like this — Knowledge Bowl comes to mind — that it can be a challenge to make pictures that illustrate people thinking sometimes. I followed the 6th graders to their written portion after noticing that Pritti Petel used her fingers a lot while thinking in the first round, often writing out numbers in the air while figuring out the problem.

The final part of the tournament was the "math relay." Similar to a regular relay race, except on the other end of the gym they had to answer a math question. Long Beach won that portion handily. I watched the students waiting to be tagged for most of this and found some nice reaction.


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