Do you have a puzzle design that will get middle or high school students engaged with a mathematical idea? We welcome contributions from anyone who wants to support our mission of getting kids having fun doing mathematics!
Here are a few specifications for what we’re looking for.
- The puzzle should have a direct link to mathematics outside the usual arithmetic-to-calculus sequence. Your puzzle should introduce a totally new mathematical idea to a large majority of high school students. Your source material might be a topic usually first introduced to upperclassman math majors (e.g. number theory, topology) or inspired by a mathematical topic in industry.
- However, the text of your puzzle need not reference the mathematics explicitly. In fact, it’s often preferable to structure your puzzle so players will implicitly discover mathematical ideas for themselves when solving, without being overloaded with lots of technical jargon and definitions.
- You should provide a short writeup of the mathematics involved. It should be long enough to motivate the puzzle’s mathematical connection and provide references for teachers/students who wish to connect the puzzle and its solution to the mathematics, but no longer than two pages.
- The solution to the puzzle should be an extractable secret message. In the MaPP Challenge, puzzles are solved when this message is reported to Game Control. In addition to providing a mechanic for marking puzzles as solved during competition, the hidden meaning of the puzzle also provides extra motivation to solve. This might be achieved by using an alphanumeric code where A=1, B=2, etc., or perhaps using a code like Braille or Morse.
All puzzles used by MaPP in its programs will be eventually open-sourced under a permissive license, so we ask that all contributions be compatibly licensed before we can use them in our programs. Our goal is to share the joy of mathematical problem-solving with as many people as possible, so we appreciate your support!