On Sunday, May 3, 2020, over 50 girls from grades 3-8 gathered on Zoom to participate in the annual All Girls Math Bonanza. The event was all about collaborating as a team with other girls to solve challenging math problems in breakout rooms. In the bonanza, the girls discussed possible solutions for target round, speedily raced through problems for sprint round, and worked together to crack puzzles for team round, with an occasional hint from the volunteers. All of the girls did amazing, thinking up unique solutions and not giving up in the face of a challenge!
For the warm-up, the participants were placed in breakout rooms to play 24. 24 was a great warm up for the girls’s problem solving skills, as they were asked to take four numbers and the four basic operators (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) to make the number 24. Many of the participants initially struggled, but by the end of the session, everyone had gotten the hang of it. After the warmup, the bonanza began in earnest as the girls were divided into breakout rooms.
The participants jumped right into solving problems for the first round of the bonanza: the Target Round. With the volunteer’s help, the girls worked together to solve eight challenging problems in thirty minutes. 3rd grader Livia Thieler simply noted that she “loved it.” Then, there was the competitive Sprint Round where girls had just fifteen minutes to solve thirty problems. They had to strategize and find a way to divide the problems among themselves to do as many as possible.
After all of that math, participants returned to the main room for some math pictionary! In the game, one participant illustrated math terms like “perpendicular,” “intersection,” and “coordinate plane,” while the other girls attempted to guess what concepts were being illustrated.
Finally, the girls went back into their teams for the Puzzle Round where they had thirty minutes to solve 2 challenging puzzles that tested their logic skills. From a small set of clues, participants worked together to fill in the missing information using their powers of deduction.
Overall, the All Girls Math Bonanza was an exciting experience. We hope that the girls had as much fun as us!