Mathlete. You may be asking what the term means (and how to become one). Math is the world language, and with it you can unlock many doors leading to exciting college opportunities, careers, hobbies, and more. Becoming a mathlete is a great step1!
In today’s quick overview, we show you the definition, benefits, and how to become a mathlete at any grade level.
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!
What is a Mathlete?
A math athlete (aka mathlete) is defined as someone who competes in math competitions. The term that people usually associate with this activity is a portmanteau—this is a blending of two words—of mathematics and athlete.
Mathletes compete at a variety of grade levels, from elementary school to middle school to high school. Ever see the movie Mean Girls? The main character, Cady Heron (played by Lindsay Lohan), and Kevin Gnapoor (portrayed by Rajiv Surendra) are mathletes!
Benefits of being a Mathlete
So, what are the advantages of becoming a mathlete? When it comes to elementary school to middle school students, participating in academic competitions can provide many different positive rewards that can help students grow into capable, healthy adults.
As a high school student, you can continue to hone your skills. This helps to prepare for the next level, whether in college or even a professional career setting.
From building problem-solving skills to fortifying a love of math, Math League and various other mathematics competitions help to boost academic performance, critical thinking, self-confidence, and more!
Let’s dive into the benefits a little deeper.
It’s easy to say, when will I ever use this? As a math athlete, you get to not only wield the tools of math but come to appreciate their origins. Curiosity is a seed well worth planting, and math competition offers creativity, challenge, and satisfaction for a curious mind!
Build Problem Solving Skills
Higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills not only help with math. There are myriad advantages, and math competition can help build strong abilities. Going beyond concept-driven principles, it builds problem-solving skills through real-world scenarios.
Of course, confidence is built on proper assessment. Ensure that a student is at the correct level for their abilities. That way, they can comfortably and confidently build skill sets that will help them throughout their lifetime.
Prepare for Bright Future
Again, problem-solving abilities are not only handy but highly sought-after qualities in the real world. Being able to critically assess a situation and come up with practical applications is crucial for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) careers!
How to Get Started
From first year to seasoned high school mathlete, there are so many bonuses to being a mathlete. Where do you start, though? With these following steps, you’ll be ready to jump on the exciting stage of math competitions in no time!
Begin with Assessment
You can’t know where you’re going without knowing where you’ve been, right? Same thing goes for becoming a math athlete. It’s crucial to understand where a student is at in terms of their current math skills.
If you start a child at too high of a level, they will eventually burn out. If you begin at too easy of a level, the student will lose interest quickly. The key is to find a happy ‘Goldilocks’ medium that is both accessible yet challenging enough to propel a mathlete in the making.
With a proper assessment, you can start a student off on the right foot!
Check Out MATHCOUNTS
If you are a middle school student (or know one), MATHCOUNTS is an excellent resource!
Catering to all math abilities, MATHCOUNTS offers engaging math programs. Utilizing numerous brain teasers and creative math problems (as well as competitions), the platform helps young mathematicians stay engaged and have fun.
Find the Right Tutorials and Tutors
Got a ton of math problems and math questions? Feeling overwhelmed or intimidated? Discovering the right enrichment resources can go a long way. An enrichment program can provide several benefits, including the encouragement of independent learning and cultivation of love for mathematics.
Join Mathlete Club
Okay, so you’ve gone through all the previous steps. Now it’s time to join a club!
Math League, established in 1977, is one of the top math competitions in the world. It caters to elementary, middle, and high schoolers. The MAA (Mathematics Association of America) is the largest math society on the globe, ideal for high school competitors.
As we mentioned earlier, there are so many benefits to becoming a bonafide mathlete. This includes social connection and friendly competition that builds various skill sets, from leveling up with problem-solving abilities to boosting confidence.
Enroll for Online Math Courses
We hope you enjoyed our quick overview of mathletes!
Want to boost your math skills? Whether you want to be the best mathlete possible or are simply a lifelong learner, learning math is easy & fun with the right assistance! Discover more via our Math Practice page.
Interested in learning more about Juni's online math courses? Contact our Advisor Team by calling (650) 263-4306 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to learn which courses are best for your student’s coding journey.