Written by Laura Barr, in collaboration with Bethany Todd
I am blessed to travel the country to support, facilitate and serve schools who are committed to innovation and 21st century best practice. In a recent trip to Journeys School in Jackson Hole, WY, I came across Tanner Phillips, a 6th grader who created a website for struggling math students. The website, Math Resource, was created by Tanner and submitted by Tanner and Charlie Anslow as a part of a class assignment and submission into the Jackson Hole Mini Maker Faire.
The Mini Maker Faire states, it’s “the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.” Tanner and Charlie entered the Youth Innovation Project; they had to create something that would benefit the community.
Tanner understands what it’s like to struggle with math. It was his goal to support other students who struggle in math by providing them with fun tools to build math skills and knowledge. Tanner accomplished this by spending several weeks designing an accessible and clean website with reliable games and resources focused on building essential math skills.
Math Resource is geared toward students in grades 3-6. The site categorizes the resources by grade; making it user friendly. In a recent interview, Tanner explained his process for finding the resources. First, Tanner polled the 6th grade student body by asking fellow students about the best or most liked websites used. After interviewing multiple students, he tested the websites and games by playing himself to ensure that the sites were reliable. Once he approved the sites and organized the information, Tanner described the pride and personal reward of clicking the “publish” button. It is Tanner’s hope that students all over the country will benefit from his website and gain more confidence in their math skills.
At e.Merging, we are committed to honoring people who are working to support human beings committed to inclusion and neurodiversity. Congratulations to Tanner and Charlie for winning Best Overall Project and Most Socially Innovative on Saturday, May 21, 2016.