Making Math Fun for Kids
Last year at the height of the pandemic, Gold Award Girl Scout Gabrielle, a high school freshman in Georgia, heard that kids at a middle school in a neighboring community were struggling to keep up in math during their newly remote lessons.
Gabrielle already had a relationship with the school’s principal, which began when Gabrielle reached out to donate school supplies to the under-resourced school in lieu of receiving presents for her 10th birthday. Every year for the next four years she continued to donate.
When the pandemic hit, the principal, familiar with Gabrielle’s interest in math, reached out to her.
“She was concerned about students’ math proficiency,” Gabrielle says. “[Scores] were at an all-time high before the pandemic, but during the pandemic students weren’t able to get the one-on-one education that had helped them the year before.”
After some brainstorming, Gabrielle and the school principal decided to make math videos to support the sixth-grade curriculum.
“The videos weren’t a replacement—they were a kid-friendly supplement to classroom learning … to make the lessons fun,” Gabrielle says, adding that she used animation, storyboards, and other tools to spice up traditional learning.
This work became her Gold Award project, and Gabrielle quickly organized a team of number-loving friends to help her create the coaching videos, which made all the difference for kids with working parents who didn’t necessarily have time to tutor.
Gabrielle isn’t done yet.
“What we’re trying to do now is convert the videos that we have already into Spanish, so that we can expand our reach to include native Spanish speakers,” she says, “as well as [get more] into seventh- and eighth-grade math skills.”