Reality TV + YouTube + STEM = Operation Mathlete

Operation Mathlete (2015)
The popularity of reality-based television shows has changed our culture. Why not use this approach to engage students in the math (and even STEM) classroom?

Operation Mathlete is an interactive reality TV-style competition on YouTube, which features three middle school students, each struggling in math. Each short episode features students competing (against themselves and each other) in a series of fun and stimulating math challenges. Each student trains with a math expert and is given two weeks to master a concept.  

This is the perfect math or STEM classroom resource. Why? 

1) It is Realistic

Math is often viewed as a challenging subject by many of our students. It is often difficult for them to admit that they are struggling because this is a sign of weakness; however, this series provides students with examples of other students who are struggling too.  Students may not have their own personal math guru, but this series helps open up important conversations on ways to help students. It also provides examples of students who determined to overcome their challenges. 

2) It provides students with different ways to learn math

We know that all students learn differently and we need to find creative ways to represent concepts and engage students differently. This is a great resource to provide students with different ways to understand math concepts.

3) Teachers can use it too! 

Many math teachers are already using Khan Academy and screencasts in their classroom to add another dimension to their classroom; however, each Operation Mathlete episode provides teachers with actual techniques and challenges, that can be implemented in any classroom immediately. 


With many schools starting to focus on infusing STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) into the curriculum, this makes the perfect resource for a variety of subject areas and grade levels. Want to check it out? Visit the Operation Mathlete YouTube channel, website, or watch the intro video below:


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