Sahil Kapoor, Chief Commercial Officer, spoke about implementing the Dinolab Bricksmath competition, bringing it to India and inculcating a competitive spirit in students on a global platform. Kapoor answers all the burning questions, concerns and opportunities posed by this initiative. Quotes:
BRICSMATH.COM + An international logic-based math competition that helps arouse interest in learning math and brings together children from seven countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Indonesia and Vietnam. The main goal of the competition is to develop students’ logic skills so that their thinking process is expanded.
Click here to register your child or student for the contest:
What was the inspiration behind Dinolab?
DinoLab is an international EdTech company that creates interactive online courses for school students worldwide. Our main goal is to help each student discover their potential by happily learning new things, achieving goals and becoming independent. We stand for a data-driven and personalized approach to education for every child. For students in each country, we adapt educational content based on local educational standards and cultural resources. In India, Dinolab helps achieve national education policy goals and aligns with school curricula.
What are the different initiatives you have launched?
DinoLab has a variety of tools for teachers, students and parents. The main products are interactive courses in math, coding, EVS and advanced math. Moreover, it is a convenient tool for teachers where they can assign worksheets, group exams and homework and monitor students’ progress. Teachers say that such automated mechanics help reduce the time required to prepare their lessons.
The platform was created by Russian mathematicians in 2012 and is called UCHI.RU in Russia. Since then, Uchi.ru has achieved remarkable results – every second student in Russia is using it in their learning process. In April last year, it became the second most visited website in the world, all thanks to an in-house tool for an online school, which is still very successful in Russia.
And of course, our flagship project, non-commercial social enterprise BRICSMATH.COM, is an interactive logic-based math competition.
How was Bricksmath’s idea implemented?
The idea of conducting this competition was started by the founders of UCHi.RU, as multiple interactive platforms have already been created for the BRICS countries and it seems great to bring them all together under one roof of international competition. BRICSMATH.COM has been operating annually since 2017 and is a non-profit competition dedicated to the BRICS Summit.
In 2018, at a meeting of the supervisory board of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, Russian President VV Putin approved the project and supported the initiative to introduce competition within the framework of the BRICS summit. Since then, the project has been successfully supported by the Ministries of Education of the BRICS countries. The competition included the Brasilia Declaration of the XI and XII BRICS Summits and the Moscow Declaration.
Who can participate?
The competition is accessible to every school student from grades 1-12 regardless of school curriculum.
How can one participate?
Teachers or parents can register their students or children for the competition. After completing all the details, the system automatically generates a separate login and password for each participant. After receiving the certificates, students log on to the website www.bricsmath.com and start solving tasks on any device connected to the Internet. Teachers and parents can monitor students’ results on their personal accounts.
How can one prepare for competition?
The competition itself is held in two rounds. The trial round gives students the opportunity to get acquainted with work and practice before the main round. The results of the trial round do not affect the main round and it is not mandatory to complete the tasks of the trial round. In the main round, students must complete all tasks within 60 minutes. Once the student is logged out, the test is automatically submitted.
For the most active and bright students, we have prepared a separate course in Dinolab called Olympiad Problem. Students practice advanced level math tasks that go beyond the school curriculum and gain creativity and problem solving skills.
Who prepares the work / question?
We have a large team of methodologists, designers, illustrators, translators and developers who are behind this project. The works are tailored to age-appropriate complexity levels and are designed in a child-friendly format. Fun and interactive activities encourage students to think outside the box and do not require any in-depth knowledge of the school curriculum. Since 2017, our team has created more than 65 interactive works for the BRICSMATH competition.
Why did the competition spread in two months?
The online format allows participants to participate from home or school, and the duration of the event allows participants to choose a day and time throughout the competition to complete their tasks at their convenience. Adjusting the schedule to a limited time is challenging, and a bit stressful, so we opened this opportunity for two months, so that students, along with their teachers, could choose any day and time between these two months. Timeline flexibility is helpful for schools and students with busy schedules.
What kind of scoring system do you use?
All students participating in the BRICSMATH competition will be graded by a specific scoring system when completing tasks. The maximum score for each job is 10 if solved correctly. A maximum score is 90 for 9 jobs in grades 1-4 and 80 for 8 jobs in grades 5-12. All participants in the main round were divided into three groups, approx. 33 percent. Certificates are distributed on the basis of points and ranking of students in each class.
How did you get support from different countries participating in the competition?
BRICSMATH is directly aligned with the agenda of promoting innovation and STEM education in the BRICS countries. The competition provides skills and inspiration to the young generation to become future leaders, engage in studies and develop IT skills. It builds a united international community of future contributors to the development of society and stimulates children’s interest in mathematics. After the competition is over, our team prepares a detailed report with the results of each participating country. The report has been shared with the concerned ministry for the purpose of highlighting common misconceptions and showing real results.
Who are the local organizations supporting BRICSMATH in India?
In India, the competition is supported by the Ministry of Education and the Central Board of Secondary Education and our official partners are Atal Innovation Mission (Policy Commission) and FICCI Arise. In other countries, BRICSMATH is supported by the Ministry of Education, local departments of education and various educational institutions.
How do participants benefit from BRICSMATH?
We are proud to say that this is an inclusive project that encourages children of different backgrounds and levels to prepare to prove themselves regardless of their level of knowledge, social and geographical background. Although children know they are competing globally, they are highly motivated to improve their knowledge and skills so that they can proudly represent their state and nation.
We have received great feedback from teachers, students and parents in seven countries. Parents are happy to see their children finally like math, and students say they have gained confidence in the study because with BRICSMATH’s interactive approach they can better understand ideas and apply them in everyday life.
Have a reward system?
Upon completion of the BRICSMATH.COM competition, all students and teachers will receive a certificate which is available on their personal account at bricsmath.com. All participants receive certificates according to their score points. There are three types of certificates: Certificate of Winner, Certificate of Achievement and Certificate of Participation. In addition, students can check their rankings nationally and internationally to see where they stand. There are lots of students who have participated in the competition since 2017 because they have become real fans, and Bricsmath annually improves their score.
What do you think contributed to the success of BRICSMATH?
I believe it is a complex in many ways. First, the works themselves: the competition is presented with unusually gammified and compelling works. Children and even adults appreciate the characters, the design and the fun mechanics. Each student can find the work of their choice or something that has their strengths, such as arithmetic, geometry, spatial imagination, logical thinking, etc. Last but not least, the opportunity to participate in global events and compete with students from four continents.
What can educators take from the design of this competition?
BRICSMATH is a great option for extracurricular activities with students, providing an opportunity to diversify the learning process and break the classroom routine. Competition helps to maintain the consciousness of achieving good results and to maintain interest in the study. By solving non-standard tasks, students develop basic concepts as well as basic 21st century skills such as logical and rational thinking as well as problem solving and analytical skills.
How do you see this growing?
The statistics show an increase in the number of participants each year, so we can certainly say an increase in the number of participants. This year, we expect more than 3 million participants. We have ambitions to increase the number of our country and translate works into more local languages like Gujarati, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil etc.
Can we expect any more initiatives like this from Dinolab?
Of course, we are seeing an amazing response from students in India, BRICSMATH is very successful and has huge demand. We have the skills to start competing in other subjects as well, so we will launch new interactive competitions and conduct them more frequently.
In addition, the content direction of the Dinolab platform is actively evolving and complementing new modern topics outside of the classical school curriculum. In addition to the existing courses, we plan to publish Logic Plus and Time Management soon. These modern subjects help to develop logical thinking and flexible skills, creating versatile individuals with key skills in demand. Click here.