Education Matters: Mathletes challenge prepares students for ACT Aspire test


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.– Elementary school students are working together to sharpen their math skills at the Annual Mathletes Competition.

“They have to answer 20 questions in 20 minutes. There are 2 halves,” says Jason Crader, Mathletes Challenge Creator.

It’s the 15th Annual Mathletes Challenge at UA Little Rock. Jason Crader says the competition aims to prepare elementary students for the ACT Aspire Math benchmark.

“Just regular just boring worksheets doesn’t cut it these days anymore so we created this competition to make practicing for the benchmark, more exciting,” says Crader.

Students are tested on complicated math problems seen at the middle and high school level.

“These are algebra, even some trigonometry. They’ll experience all this because they’re the top of the top, creme of the crop, so I have to give them very challenging questions,” he says.

First time challenger, Emmarie Blackwell, is a 5th grader at Carver Washington Elementary. She hopes this yearly event pushes herself to gain new math skills.

“Just coming here and getting the experience in competing in this type of thing,” says Emmarie Blackwell, 5th grader.

Emmarie hopes the mathletes challenge guides her way to acting the ACT Aspire test. She credits teamwork for making it this far.

“Just being good teammates, and being able to work together,” says Emmarie.

An experience Crader hopes propels these students toward success.

“This is a chance for them to not only bond as a team, it’s a chance for them to meet other teams from other schools,” says Crader.

The ACT Aspire test is coming up in April. All 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students are required to take it.

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