Diversify The Learning Process And Break The Classroom Routine: BRICSMATH.COM
Sahil Kapoor, Chief Commercial Officer, DinoLab speaks on actualising the BRICSMATH competition, bringing it to India and igniting the competitive spirit of students on a global platform. Kapoor answers all burning questions, concerns and opportunities provided through this initiative. Excerpts:
BRICSMATH.COM+ is an international logic-based maths competition that helps spark an interest in learning maths and brings together children from seven countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Indonesia and Vietnam. The main aim of the competition is to develop students’ logic skills to broaden their thought process through gamified and out-of-the-box thinking tasks.
To register your child or student for the competition click here:
What was the inspiration behind DinoLab?
DinoLab is an international EdTech company that develops interactive online courses for school students worldwide. Our main goal is to help unleash the potential of each student by providing them with a way to learn new things with pleasure, achieve goals and become independent. We stand for a data-driven and personal approach in education for each child. For students in each country, we adapt educational content based on local educational standards and cultural assets. In India, DinoLab helps achieve the goals of the National Education Policy and aligns with the school curriculum.
What are the various initiatives you have launched?
DinoLab has different tools for teachers, students and parents. The core products are interactive courses in Maths, Coding, EVS and Advanced Maths. Moreover, this is a convenient instrument for teachers where they can assign worksheets, summative tests and homework, and monitor students’ progress. Teachers say that such automatic mechanics help them to reduce the time needed for lesson preparation.
The platform was created by Russian mathematicians in 2012, and in Russia, it is called UCHI.RU. Since then, Uchi.ru has achieved tremendous results — every second student in Russia is using it in their learning process. Last year in April, it became the second most visited website in the world, all thanks to an in-house tool for an online school, which is still very successful in Russia.
And of course, there is our flagship project, non-commercial social initiative BRICSMATH.COM, an interactive logic-based maths competition.
How was the idea of BRICSMATH actualised?
The idea of conducting this competition was initiated by the founders of UCHi.RU, as there were multiple interactive platforms already created for BRICS countries and it seemed to be great uniting them all under one roof of the international competition. BRICSMATH.COM has been conducted annually since 2017 and is a non-profit competition dedicated to the BRICS summit.
In 2018, at a meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, Russian President V.V. Putin approved the project and supported the initiative to launch the competition within the frameworks of the BRICS Summit. Since then, the project has been successfully supported by the Ministries of Education of the BRICS countries. The competition was included in the Brasilia Declaration and Moscow Declaration of the XI and XII BRICS Summits.
Who can participate?
The competition is accessible to every school student from grades 1-12 regardless of the school curriculum.
How can one participate?
Teachers or parents can register their students or children for the competition. After filling in all the details, the system automatically generates an individual login and password for every participant. After receiving the credentials, students log in to the website www.bricsmath.com and start solving the tasks on any device connected to the internet. Teachers and parents can monitor the results of the students in their personal accounts.
How can one prepare for the competition?
The competition itself is held in two rounds. The trial round gives students an opportunity to get familiar with tasks and practice before the main round. The results of the trial round do not affect the main round and it is not mandatory to complete the trial round tasks. In the main round, students have to complete all tasks within 60 minutes. Once the student logs out, the test is automatically submitted.
For the most active and brightest students, we have prepared a separate course on DinoLab called Olympiad Problems. Students practice advanced level mathematics tasks that go beyond the school curriculum and master creativity and problem-solving skills.
Who prepares the tasks/questions?
We have a big team of methodologists, designers, illustrators, translators and developers that stand behind this project. The tasks are created according to age-appropriate levels of complexity and designed in a child-friendly format. The fun and interactive tasks encourage students to think out of the box and do not require any in-depth knowledge of the school curriculum. Since 2017, our team has created more than 65 interactive tasks for the BRICSMATH competition.
Why is the competition spread out over the span of two months?
The online format gives an opportunity to participate from home or from school, and the duration of the event allows participants to choose a day and time during the whole period of the competition to complete the tasks at their convenience. It is challenging, and somewhat stressful, to coordinate schedules during a limited time window, that’s why we opened this opportunity for two months, so students, along with their teachers, can choose any day and time they are available during the two months. The timeline flexibility is helpful for schools and students with busy schedules.
What kind of scoring system do you use?
All the students who participate in the BRICSMATH competition will be graded by a specific scoring system when completing the tasks. The maximum score for each task is 10 when solved absolutely correctly. The maximum score one can get is 90 for the 9 tasks in grades 1-4, and 80 for the 8 tasks in grades 5-12. All the participants of the main round are divided into three groups, approx. 33 per cent. The certificates are distributed based on the points and rankings of the students in each class.
How did you garner support from the different countries that participate in the competition?
BRICSMATH directly aligns with the agenda of promoting innovations and STEM education in BRICS countries. Competition provides the young generation with the skills and inspiration to become future leaders, engage in studying, and develop IT skills. It creates a united international community of future contributors to the development of society and stimulates children’s interest in mathematics. After the end of the competition, our team prepares a detailed report with the results of each participating country. This report is shared with corresponding ministries with the purpose to highlight the common misconceptions and show tangible outcomes.
Who are the local bodies that support BRICSMATH in India?
In India, the competition is supported by the Ministry of Education and Central Board of Secondary Education and our official partners are Atal Innovation Mission (Niti Ayog) and FICCI Arise. In other countries, BRICSMATH is supported by the Ministries of Education, local departments of education and various educational institutions.
How do participants benefit from BRICSMATH?
We are proud to say that this is an inclusive project that encourages children of different backgrounds and levels for preparation to prove themselves, regardless of their level of knowledge, social and geographical background. While the children know that they are competing at a global level, they are highly motivated to improve their knowledge and skills to represent their state and nation with pride.
We had great responses from teachers, students and parents from all seven countries. Parents are delighted to see their kids finally take a liking to maths, and students say they gained self-confidence in studying because with the interactive approach of BRICSMATH they could understand concepts better and apply it in day-to-day life.
Is there a reward system?
Upon the completion of the BRICSMATH.COM competition, all students and teachers receive certificates that are available in their personal accounts on bricsmath.com. All participants receive certificates according to the points they score. There are three types of certificates: certificates of the winner, certificates of achievement and certificates of participation. Additionally, students can check their rankings to see where they stand nationally and internationally. There are plenty of students who have participated in the competition since 2017 as they became real fans, and Bricsmath improves their scores annually.
What factors do you believe have contributed to the success of BRICSMATH?
I believe it is a complex of different aspects. First of all, the tasks themselves: the competition is presented with unusual gamified and engaging tasks. Children and even adults praise the characters, design and fun mechanics. Each student can find their favourite task or something they have strength in, e.g., arithmetics, geometry, spatial imagination, logical thinking, etc. Last but not least, an opportunity to participate in the global event and compete with students from four continents.
What can educators take away from this competition design?
BRICSMATH is a great option for additional activities with students, it provides an opportunity to diversify the learning process and break the classroom routine. The competition helps to keep up the spirit to achieve good results and interest to study. Solving non-standard tasks, students develop basic concepts as well as key 21st-century skills, such as logical and reasoning thinking as well as problem-solving and analytical skills.
How do you see this growing?
The statistics show an increased number of participants from year to year, so we can definitely say the growth of participants. This year, we expect over 3 million participants. We have ambitions to extend the number of countries and translate the tasks to more local languages such as Gujarati, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, etc.
Can we expect any more initiative such as this to come from DinoLab?
Definitely, we see an amazing response from students in India, BRICSMATH is very successful and has a great demand. We have expertise in launching competitions in other subjects as well, so there are big chances that we will launch new interactive competitions and conduct them more frequently.
As well, the content direction of the DinoLab platform is actively developing and supplemented with new modern subjects outside the classical school curriculum. In addition to the existing line of courses, we are planning to release Logic Plus and Time Management soon. These modern subjects help develop logical thinking and flexible competencies, forming versatile individuals with key skills in demand. click here.
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