The Hardest Math Problem offers fun and engaging math programs that get teachers and students excited about math with the added incentive of a $5,000 grand prize.   Last year’s $300,000 grant award that The Actuarial Foundation received from the New York Life Foundation helped fund the second year of this national middle-school math competition that helps students practice critical thinking through the art of accurate computation. Winners were required to complete an initial challenge to qualify for Challenge Two and the grand prize.  Over 12,000 students from sixth through eighth grades entered the first challenge (more than double the entries from last year, the Contest’s inaugural year) and over 1,400 Students submitted entries to challenge two.   Students completed well above grade-level, real-world problems that combined reasoning skills with math in a competition for a chance to win the grand prize of a $5,000 deposit to a 529 savings plan and a laptop (first-place winners received a tablet, while winning teachers from each grade received a $500 gift card.)

“The Actuarial Foundation engages middle school students with math in a fun way that helps kids use their critical thinking skills and develops their reasoning skills to make informed decisions and solve complex problems.” - Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation

Generously supported by New York Life Foundation, the Contest highlights the dexterity and talents of American middle school students.  “The Actuarial Foundation engages middle school students with math in a fun way that helps kids use their critical thinking skills and develops their reasoning skills to make informed decisions and solve complex problems,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. “Despite these challenging times, students demonstrated their overwhelming desire for a creative outlet to test their ability to solve real world problems.”

Once again, this year’s questions (answers here) were developed with a special focus on appealing to girls, using best practices that encourage and depict girls as active participants in real-life scenarios. 


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Media contact
Lacey Siegel
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937
Lacey_S_Siegel@newyorklife.com

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