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99math - the startup that's making eSports-style competitions for maths

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by Startacus Admin

Learning maths can actually be fun - thanks to this edtech startup, that helps kids learn and compete!

99math picAsk anyone what their least favourite subject in school was, and the most likely answer will be maths. For a lot of people maths is a subject that, despite the fact that sums and equations aren’t up for interpretation, the degree to which we are able to learn it depends very much on the way our teachers teach.

It may seem like an alien language when learning from one teacher, but switch to another and it becomes simple. Despite the jokes we make when we’re older about how infrequently we need to know how to calculate the angle of a triangle, maths is one of the most important subjects we learn in school, particularly as we are trying to encourage more people - girls particularly - to move into STEMcareers.

Estonian startup 99math is tackling this problem by making learning maths more fun and exciting (an unenviable task).

Created by 19-year-old gamer Timo Timmi, the idea is to make maths more engaging and desirable to learn through running eSports-style competitions for maths students.

Competition is a pretty innate thing for humans and using it - responsibly - as a tool for encouraging students to better take in their lessons is a good method. In the platform’s ‘Math Game Days’, students face-off in real-time maths battles with live viewers. All that is needed is a smartphone or tablet and a WiFi connection, considerably lowering the barrier to entry and meaning that adoption can be more widespread, as demonstrated by the 30,000 students from around the world who have already participated.

99math screenThe platform is free for teachers and students, and it is quick to set up and play. Teachers can play a 5 minute game with their students as part of their normal maths lessons, taking away very little time from the lesson plan. The feedback that teachers then get from the data and reports helps them to track the individual students’ progress and understand what needs to be worked on most.

In January, 99math announced that they had raised €454k to help them accelerate their platform’s growth. In the current climate, with schools closing due to the covid-19 pandemic and children having to learn from home, this growth is vital.

A platform like this that needs only a smart device, WiFi, and a code to join can be an important part of students’ home education, not only helping them to learn maths, but keeping them connected to their friends.

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Published on: 31st March 2020

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