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By Lata Punetha
The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC), housed in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo begins 2023 with a milestone achievement. Problem of the Week, CEMC’s global initiative providing problem resources at five different levels to educators every week has crossed a subscriber base of 50,000. Launched by the CEMC in 2011, Problem of the Week aims to equip educators with math resources to help inspire students towards a greater interest in math in class every week.
Problem of the Week, as the name suggests, is a digital resource consisting of one mathematical problem shared with subscribers every week. These problems are meant for students from Grade 3 to Grade 12 and are organized into themes, grouping them into various areas of the curriculum, carefully created by experts at the CEMC. Educators utilize these resources to present students with a variety of mathematical opportunities, improving their ability to solve problems of different topics in a non-sequential manner. Additionally, these problems and their solutions are posted on the CEMC’s website and are available publicly for non-subscribers as well. There has been an average growth of more than 20% annually in the number of unique subscribers. The subscriber base primarily consists of educators from across Canada and internationally.
With over 1600 problems posted since 2011, Problem of the Week aims to create an interest and enjoyment in math classrooms. Through our vast subscriber base of educators spread worldwide, Problem of the Week reaches about 1.4 million individuals on a weekly basis introducing them to the University of Waterloo via the CEMC. As we celebrate a milestone of 50,000 subscribers, the CEMC is committed to continue our effort to provide educators and learners with resources, challenges and opportunities to increase confidence, enjoyment and ability in mathematics and computer science., said Ian VanderBurgh, Director, CEMC commenting on this accomplishment.
The team at the CEMC often receives feedback from subscribers on how the Problem of the Week is helping them in the classroom:
I just wanted to send you a quick note to let your team know that my students have really enjoyed the Problem of the Week questions and solutions. Applying their mathematical knowledge to real-life situations has helped them to realize the relevance and importance of the concepts taught in class.
I want to say thanks for the C, D and E problems. The progression of the concepts allows me to use them for my math club each week.
Thank you for providing a weekly math problem for my grade 3 class. Love the digital worksheet option.
Thank you so much for these fantastic problems! They are really amazing challenges for my class.