OSLO Jan 15 Norwegian students solved nearly 5
million algebra equations in a week long challenge, using an app
aimed at popularising mathematics among children whose maths
skills have been steadily sliding in international rankings.
Students hoped to just beat the previous record of 40,000
equations set by students in Washington state using the
Dragonbox app; but that record fell in just three hours,
"This has been a mind-blowing experience for us," Dragonbox
co-founder Jean Baptiste Huynh said as the competition came to
an end on Wednesday. "No one has done anything of this scale on
a national level before."
"The best part is that this is scalable. We hope to do a
national event also in the US and in Brazil within a year. And
then we might go global with these events," he added.
Norwegian students were ranked 30th in the 2012 Programme
for International Student Assessment (PISA), a big drop from
21st just three years earlier. U.S. students fell to 36th from
The Dragonbox app aims redefine mathematical language for
games and adapt the learning process into game play for children
in both elementary and high school.
Huynh, who left a well paid job as a fund manager to teach,
now plans to launch a geometry game before summer.
The Dragonbox app has been downloaded more than 250,000
Students in Minnesota will be the next to take the
challenge, hoping to solve 250,000 equations in a week.
(Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg. editing by Ralph Boulton)