What's the Big Idea: A Game Show Featuring Students and Mathematicians
Wednesday February 17, 2021 from 1:00pm - 2:30pm ET
Join elementary, middle, and high school students for a whirlwind presentation of big ideas in math — presented by mathematicians — and judged by students! Students will assess the mathematicians' explanations based on fun and clarity. Audience members participate in voting too, so come ready to listen and vote on your favorite big math ideas. This show is presented by the Young People's Project, which uses a near-peer mentoring model to support student achievement in math.
Six mathematicians take center stage with the single objective of presenting a very big or deep idea in math to a panel of six youth judges.
The contest organizers hope this competition calls attention to culturally responsive, grounding, and sustaining approaches to engage young people with mathematics.
Each presentation is followed by reactions from the student judges, with scores from audience feedback shared after the last presentation.
- Introduction of event and student judges from The Young People's Project by Shawn Bernier (Starting at 1:44)
- Jessica Andrews-Todd: Is a Square a Rectangle? (10:20)
- Fega Okwa: Is 0 an Even Number? (19:52)
- Dr. Pamela E. Harris: Why is 0.99999... = 1? (31:41)
- Andrés R. Vindas Meléndez: Arithmetic & Geometric Sequences (46:07)
- Michael Dairyko: Can We Divide By Zero? (1:01:54)
- John Urschel: Are Some Infinities "Bigger" Than Others? (1:14:32)
- Conclusion and Feedback Scoring (1:28:43)
This event was hosted by Shawn Bernier of the Young People's Project and Albert Sykes, Executive Director of IDEA: The Institute for Democratic Education in America, a supporter of public education for children in the U.S.
We extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff and volunteers of the Young People's Project and our middle school, high school, and university student judges!
- What's the Big Idea - Video Clip: "What's the Big Idea: Dr. Pamela E. Harris on Why 0.999... = 1" (opens new window)
- What's the Big Idea Game Show: Host Shawn Bernier (blog post / video)
- What's the Big Idea Game Show: Students’ Lives (blog post)
- What's the Big Idea Game Show: Student Judges Videos (blog post / video)
- What's the Big Idea Game Show: Mathematicians of Color (blog post)
- What's the Big Idea Game Show: Results of Voting! (blog post)
The Young People’s Project (YPP) uses Math Literacy Work to develop the abilities of elementary through high school students to succeed in school and in life, and in doing so involves them in efforts to eliminate institutional obstacles to their success.