Youth STEM Series: Tivitz Tournament & Math Day 2015

Institution: Michigan Technological University
Funders (7)
Views (0)

Why This Project Is Important 

"I'm just not a math person." All too often we hear people say this. The Tivitz Tournament and Math Day is a chance to bring elementary school students together to do hands-on mathematics activities and compete in the problem-solving board game Tivitz, with the goal of reminding them that STEM is fun, applicable, and achievable.

Project Description 

As they progress through school, all too many young students begin to lose interest in mathematics. They either convince themselves that they "aren't math people" or that math is "for geeks." In an effort to combat these attitudes, the Center for Pre-College Outreach in partnership with the Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education host an annual event called the Tivitz Tournament. This event is also co-sponsored by the Department of Mathematical Science as Michigan Tech -- between the three organizations, Tivitz/Math Day has grown into a very successful program! 4th-7th graders from local schools come together to play three rounds of the board game Tivitz against one another in friendly competition. A combination of checkers, logic, and arithmetic, the goal of Tivitz is to move your numbered pieces to the opposite side of the game board. Each die destination has a mathematical operation on it (multiply by 12, add 6, or divide in half, for example). The students jockey their die onto advantageous spots, do all the math, and add up their points! Most of the participating schools incorporate the game into their math curriculum, so the students are aces at gameplay. Prizes are awarded to the top few winners from each grade. In 2014, CPCO piloted an additional "Math Day" to go with Tivitz. Students were able to participate in several hands-on math activities about surfaces and game strategies, then wrapped up the day with a presentation on geometry in the real world (logos, art, architecture). Bolstered by the success of these first steps, the goal is to make Math Day even more involved, hands-on, and useful for teachers by developing even better activities to showcase throughout the day. At its core, the Tivitz / Math Day event is about reminding everyone that math is useful, complex, fascinating, and relevant to many different fields. Ideally, more and more students will become excited to be 'math people.' Learn more about Tivitz here:

Meet the Researchers

Liz Fujita

Liz is a Coordinator at Michigan Tech's Center for Pre-College Outreach. Her outreach focus is on programs to benefit local students: GEAR UP (11th grade college readiness), after-school STEM clubs, and events for local students (including Get WISE and Engineering Olympics). She graduated from Michigan Tech in 2012 with a dual degree in mathematics and social science.

Cody Kangas

As Director of the Center for Pre-College Outreach at Michigan Tech, Cody leads a team of six to deliver three innovative university flagship operatives--Mind Trekkers, Summer Youth Programs, College Access Programs--as well as develop the Pre-College Innovative Outreach Institute. Prior to coming to Michigan Tech in 2008, Cody worked in several academic and athletic outreach programs, including Ann Arbor Public Schools and the United States Olympic Committee. While at Michigan Tech Cody has served on a number of task forces and steering committees, managed the delivery of innovative outreach programming for several hundred-thousand students and families through federal and private-funded sponsors, and created effective partnerships with stakeholders across K-12 schools, industry representatives, and non-profit organizations. Cody holds an MAED in Postsecondary Leadership from Michigan State University, and a BA in Sport Management from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is a proud father of two girls and spends his free time with his wife and family, traveling, and playing the guitar.

Ask a Question or Leave a Comment

Please log in or register to post questions or comments.

of $2,000 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $104
days left
Funding is Closed

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Purchase new Tivitz game boards to replace worn/damaged ones
  • Purchase materials for hands-on math activities
  • Provide a small math-related 'goodie' for each attending student (a puzzle, poster, etc.)
  • Cover venue and lunch for approx. 200 students, 20 teachers, 15 volunteers

$5 0 Funders

A huge thank you and added to our email list to receive photos and news after the event

$15 3 Funders

All of the above, plus a Mind Trekkers wrist band to show your love for STEM

$25 1 Funder

All of the above, plus copies of the lesson plans used at the event

$50 1 Funder

All of the above, plus a Summer Youth Programs water cup

$100 2 Funders

All of the above, plus a Summer Youth Programs t-shirt and a copy of the Tivitz board game from SAS Games, Inc!

SAS Games, Inc. will also honor any donation of $100 or more by sending you a complimentary copy of the Baseball Tivitz board game!

Recent Donors

Some donors may be hidden.
Anonymous's picture
Elizabeth's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture

Gifts to projects listed on SUPERIORIDEAS.ORG are received and processed by Michigan Tech Fund. Michigan Tech Fund is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code acting on behalf of Michigan Technological University. It is the policy of Michigan Tech Fund that a portion of the gifts and/or income therefrom may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering the funds.