Video Spotlight

The videos included in the Video Spotlight earned high marks in at least one of the Math Video Challenge content areas (mathematical content, communications, creativity, real-world scenario). We hope they provide useful examples as your team begins to produce a video. But please note, inclusion in the Video Spotlight does not mean a video is perfect. A creative video may have a math error. A video with a fantastic solution may have a weak real-world scenario. It's important to pay attention to which content area each highlighted video excelled in as you look through this Video Spotlight.


A DisBEARing Situation

Creativity


Original Handbook Problem: A boat can hold three people, one of whom needs to row to cross a river that is 20 yards wide. What is the minimum distance the boat must travel to transport 9 people from the left bank of the river to the right bank? (2014-15 Problem #226)

Why the disBEARing Situation Team got high scores in creativity:

  • They add a story about a bear chase to expand on the real-world scenario in the original problem (a boat holding people) and make it their own.
  • Imaginative use of beautiful animation, time-lapse and music/sound effects add to the story.
  • Student-written humor like the characters’ squeezing through the tree (0:22) and kicking the fisherman out of his boat (0:34), plus a surprise reveal at the end (2:07) add to the story.

What else the judges liked:

  • Use of both graphics and clear verbal explanations to show the solution to the problem, making it easy to understand and follow.
  • Effective use of time, even with a short video.
  • Real-world application that makes sense within the context of their story and doesn’t feel forced.

The Story Arcs

Creativity


Original Handbook Problem: The circle shown has a diameter of 12 inches, m<ABC = 30 degrees and AB = BC. What is the length of minor arc AC? Express your answer in terms of π. (2016-17 Problem #77)

Why the Story Arcs Team got high scores in creativity:

  • They create a real-world scenario from scratch for a geometry problem that does not include one originally.
  • Imaginative use of real-time, hand-drawn animation and fast-forwarding add to the story.
  • Interesting story flips the script on PacMath vs. the ghosts and includes student-written humor like the ghost’s lament (0:59) and bulk-up sequence (4:22).

What else the judges liked:

  • Significant time setting up the problem, which makes it easy to understand the conundrum faced by Blinky the ghost.
  • Math terminology defined as the solution is explained.
  • Real-world application that makes sense within the context of their story and doesn’t feel forced.

Back in the Good Old Days

Mathematical Content


Original Handbook Problem: Lily is going to the movies with Abby, Bea and Jaclyn. Abby wants to sit at the end of a row, and Bea only cares that she is seated next to Jaclyn. In how many different ways can the girls be seated in a single row that has only four seats? (2015-16 Problem #5)

Why the Mathtastic 4 Team got high scores in mathematical content:

  • They provide 3 clear explanations of how to solve the problem (1:44, 3:50 and 4:12).
  • Their 3 solutions utilize different math skills: counting (1:44), tree diagram (3:50) and permutation (4:12).
  • They devote a substantial amount of time to the solutions in a way that is creative and doesn’t feel long or boring.

What else the judges liked:

  • Cute story about 4 old friends reminiscing about going to the movies.
  • Creative use of simple effects and costumes to make their video look like an old-timey silent film, which ties into their story.

President Polynomial Has Been Poisoned

Real-World Scenario


Original Handbook Problem: The number of E. coli bacteria in a rich medium is increasing at a rate of 50% every 3 hours. How many hours does it take for 960 bacteria to increase to 4860 bacteria? (2013-14 Problem #206)

Why the PolyMa+hema+1c5 Team got high scores in real-world application:

  • They add a story about a president becoming ill to expand on the real-world scenario in the original problem (E. coli bacteria increasing in number) and make it their own.
  • The real-world application makes sense within the context of their story and doesn’t feel forced.

What else the judges liked:

  • Fun and colorful student-made animation.
  • Simply done, but straightforward and well-communicated solution.
  • Effective use of time, even with a short video.
  • Student-written humor like the dramatic music (0:20 and 1:05), thought bubble with a smartphone (0:37) and “I Survived” cape (2:55).

Mix n Match: The Power of Clever Combinations

Communication


Original Handbook Problem: Manny has 5 shirts, 3 pairs of pants, 2 ties and 4 pairs of shoes. If Manny’s school uniform consists of a shirt, a pair of pants, a tie and a pair of shoes, how many different uniforms can he wear to school? (2011-12 Problem #12)

Why the Stone Valley Team got high scores in communication:

  • They provide ample time to understand the problem and real-world application so viewers can follow along.
  • They spend a substantial amount of time on their solution, but in a way that is creative and doesn’t feel long or boring.
  • In addition to verbal explanations, they use tree diagrams to explain the solutions (2:43 and 3:16).
  • They speak clearly and use numbers/operations that are well-timed to follow their dialogue.

 

What else the judges liked:

  • Student-written humor like the luggage overload at the beginning (0:23) and re-packing at the end (3:57).
  • Creative use of simple but effective time-lapse to demonstrate different combinations (3:19).
  • Logical real-world application that doesn’t feel forced.

Where's Waldorf

Real-World Scenario


Original Handbook Problem: Given the points A(–2, 1) and B(3,4), what are the coordinates of point C in the fourth quadrant such that m<CAB = 90 degrees and AB = AC? Express your answer as an ordered pair. (2012-13 Problem #68)

Why the Soda Fountain Team got high scores in real-world application:

  • They create a real-world scenario from scratch for a geometry problem that does not include one originally.
  • The math in their real-world scenario is woven into the larger story, so the video flows well.

What else the judges liked:

  • Student-written humor throughout and timely, funny references to One Direction (1:47), Starbucks lattes (0:48 and 1:54) and Beyonce (3:16).
  • Over-the-top acting of the mom (for example, 0:05-0:19 and 0:35-0:53) and creative costumes.
  • Clearly explained solution with helpful animations (2:10) and correctly used math terminology.

#VIStrong

Real-World Scenario


Original Handbook Problem: At a certain middle school, the 6th-grade class of 390 increased by 10%, the 7th-grade class of 350 increased by 22% and the 8th-grade class of 420 increased by 20%. Overall, what was the percentage increase of students for this middle school? Express your answer to the nearest tenth. (2018-19 Problem #198)

Why the BCB Blazers Team got high scores in real-world application:

  • Their real-world scenario is so applicable, judges realistically can imagine needing to do the math described in the video to solve the problem faced by the school.
  • They ground their real-world scenario in a timely and relevant real-life situation (hurricanes in the Virgin Islands causing students to relocate to a new school).

What else the judges liked:

  • Creative use of “news footage” at the beginning, plus filming in a real-life classroom and principal’s office.
  • Great acting by the students as political officials, reporters and teachers.
  • Clearly explained solution with helpful animations (2:25) and tables (2:43).

Salice in Wonderland

Creativity


Original Handbook Problem: In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, this conversation takes place between Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Tweedledum says, “The sum of your weight and twice mine is 361 pounds.” Tweedledee answers, “The sum of your weight and twice mine is 362 pounds.” What is the absolute difference in the weights of Tweedledee and Tweedledum? (2014-15 Problem #33)

Why Team Wonderland got high scores in creativity:

  • Student-written humor like the silly antics of the characters and the parody song (1:26) to set up the problem make the story more interesting.
  • Simple but creative costumes and props, plus intentionally over-the-top acting by the students (for example, 0:01-0:32 and 0:50-1:00) add to the scene of the story.

What else the judges liked:

  • Correct use of math terminology during the solution.
  • Two solutions provided during the video.

Jailbreak

Creativity


Original Handbook Problem: Spike can dig 8 holes in 3 hours. Butch can dig 7 holes in 4 hours. Lucky can dig 6 holes in 5 hours. How many minutes will it take them to dig 3 holes if all three work together? Express your answer to the nearest whole number. (2018-19 Problem #190)

Why the Fibonacci Girls Team got high scores in creativity:

  • They add a story about the dog Olympics to expand on the real-world scenario in the original problem (dogs digging holes) and make it their own.
  • Silly costumes of the dogs (0:01-0:12) and jail wardens (0:55-1:12), plus creative use of space create a whimsical but realistic looking “dog jail.”
  • Small creative details like having dogs speak in different languages and accents because it’s the Olympics (0:24-0:42 and 1:21-1:45), featuring a real-life police officer guest star (0:14) and a slow-motion escape add to their story.

What else the judges liked:

  • Clearly explained solution that is easy to understand.
  • Real-world application that makes sense within the context of their story and doesn’t feel forced.

Buzzer Beater

Mathematical Content


Original Handbook Problem: R.J.’s pedometer indicates that he has walked 10,002 steps and equates that to traveling 4.11 miles. Based on this, how many additional steps must he walk to travel the equivalent of 5 miles total? Express your answer to the nearest whole number. (2018-19 Problem #206)

Why the Fantastic Four Team got high scores in mathematical content:

  • Their explanation of the problem is clear and straightforward (2:56).
  • They include mathematical terminology in their solution, used correctly.
  • Their solution is well-paced and easy to follow because they write out their work neatly as they talk through the steps.

What else the judges liked:

  • Student-written humor like the coach/child breaking clipboards (0:25), struggling on crutches (0:41) and post-game celebrating (4:51).
  • Small creative details like filming at a real-life doctor’s office and basketball game, plus use of slow-motion for the final shot.

We're Rich

Mathematical Content


Original Handbook Problem: Three Maryland educators will split equally $234 million from the Mega Million Lottery. Each will collect about $53 million after taxes. What percentage of tax will be paid by each of the winners if the taxes also are split equally among the winners? Express your answer to the nearest whole number. (2013-14 Problem #143)

Why Team GET’M got high scores in mathematical content:

  • Their solution is clear and straightforward (2:37), with typed up equations and numbers making it easy to follow their steps.
  • They include mathematical terminology in their solution, used correctly.
  • Their solution is well-paced and not rushed.

What else the judges liked:

  • Student-written humor and emotive acting throughout, like during the lottery numbers announcement (0:39), celebration (0:58) and day-dream sequence (4:06).
  • Rap song written and performed by the students (4:08) rather than professional music.
  • Small creative details like jumbo-sized lottery checks (1:07), over-the-top fake jewelry (4:19) and filming at a real-life shopping mall (4:08).

Vacation to Hawaii

Communication


Original Handbook Problem: Vacations R-Us charges $130 a day plus a one-time, nonrefundable $50 cleaning fee to rent a house at the beach. How much will it cost the Sanchez family to rent the house for 7 days? (2011-12 Problem #91)

Why the Eagles Team got high scores in communication:

  • They provide ample time to understand the problem and real-world application so viewers can follow along.
  • Their problem is easy to solve, but they explain the steps clearly.
  • Their video is short, but time is still used effectively.

What else the judges liked:

  • Student-written humor like the silly costumes and acting of the mom (0:11), baby (0:17) and wizard (1:07) and use of teleportation to solve the issue of plane tickets (2:27).
  • Simple but effective effects like the appearance and disappearance of characters (1:07 and 2:33).

Going Home

Communication


Original Handbook Problem: The bus from Kevin’s home to the middle school travels 8 miles west, then turns and travels 8 miles north, then turns and travels 7 miles west to arrive at school. If the bus were able to travel directly from Kevin’s house to the middle school along a straight path, how much shorter would the trip be? (2018-19 Problem #58)

Why RMSPG2018 Team got high scores in communication:

  • They provide ample time to understand the problem and real-world application so viewers can follow along.
  • Not only do they present 2 solutions to the problem (0:53 and 3:02), but they set up a second real-world situation as the reason the characters must find another solution (2:53), making their explanations more realistic and interesting.
  • They speak very clearly and use graphics to explain the solutions (1:01).

What else the judges liked:

  • Correct use of more advanced math concepts for their second solution (3:06).
  • Student-written humor like the frustrated captain (0:23) and the crew’s silly antics (0:45 and 4:35).
  • Simple but effective use of green screen and effects like the spaceship traveling (4:45).
  • Logical real-world application that doesn’t feel forced and doesn’t simply rely on what’s already in the original problem.

Legendary Pizza

Communication


Original Handbook Problem: Paige cuts a square out of a circular pizza. The corner of the square lies on the circumference of the pizza. To the nearest whole number, what percent of the pizza is left when Paige removes the square? (2016-17 Problem #48)

Why the Mathletes/Patriots NSBE Jr. Chapter Team got high scores in communication:

  • They explain their solution clearly, including providing explanations of the math terminology and operations used.
  • They use clear graphics (1:58, 2:13, 2:21 and 2:30) that help viewers understand the problem, as well as their solution.
  • They spend a substantial amount of time on their solution, but in a way that is creative and doesn’t feel long or boring.

What else judges liked:

  • Simple but effective effects like the split screen (0:19) and flying pizza delivery guy (0:48).
  • Small creative details like the floating astronaut (0:20), sassy pizza guy (0:28) and filming at a real-life pizza place.