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This is the MathCounts problem that four West Middle School students solved, then came up with a story idea for a video to show how it could be applied in a real-life setting.
Screen capture from "Vote for Me" video

4 math-inclined West Middle Schoolers make video for competition, hope people will vote for it

       Which candidate won the election for student president?
       It will take math calculations to figure it out.
       That's the “dramatic tension” in a short, fictional youtube video, titled “Vote for Me,” that four students from
West students Zoe Hutcherson and Wesley Wright played the parts of students using math to figure out who won a student election.
Screen capture from "Vote for Me" video
West Middle School created and acted in. The students, all of whom participate in the extracurricular MathCounts club, are vying for possible college scholarships in a competition organized by MathCounts (a national nonprofit) to show practical applications of the discipline.
       The students are Shawn Crook, Adabelle Wright, Zoe Hutcherson and Wesley Wright.
       But to have a chance of winning, they need votes - just like the student president candidates in their movie. The 100 videos that attract the most online support through March 13, 2015, will move on to the second round in the competition. A judging panel will pare the field down from that point.
       The four West students “had to choose a problem from a list of over 200 [in a MathCounts handbook],” explained West math teacher Phil Hutcherson. “They then had to make a realistic video to represent the problem. They made this video 100 percent on their own. Please vote for this video
West students Shawn Crook and Adabelle Wright played the parts of the candidates.
Screen capture from "Vote for Me" video
once a day up until March 13.”
       The website is http://videochallenge.mathcounts.org/videos/vote-4- me. People without a previous login will need to sign up through a brief online registration process.
       The video shows two of the students solving the election-related math problem with pencils and paper, not electronic calculators. Hutcherson said this was factual. "They definitely completed it the old-fashioned way. They did it by hand before completing the video. It took them about 2 minutes or so to solve it.”
       According to the MathCounts website, "The Math Video Challenge is an innovative program that gives students the opportunity to combine math and their passion for technology to create videos about math problems and their associated concepts… It is the perfect way for teachers to respond to the question most frequently heard in math classes, 'When am I going to use this math in real life?' "

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 2/16/15; Schools: West Middle School)

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