This educational app can help kids develop a mindset for coding

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You may know Bee figuresthe digital math challenge that takes spelling bees to the next level, if you were (or knew) an elementary or middle-aged kid in Delaware in the early 2000s. The Company and its Association , national bee spin-off of Hockessin-based software development company Vel Micro Worksand provided free Numbers Bee licenses to students from red clay, Christina and Brandywine School Districts over the years.

If you are do not familiar with Numbers Bee: This is a desktop-turned-web-turned-mobile-app game for preschoolers created by married business partners Sakti and Kamatchi Velwho are also president and vice president of Vel Micro Works.

Kamatchi Vel left a job teaching at a community college to raise their children over 20 years ago.

“We noticed the kids were behind in math, so we taught them at home,” she said. “There was a program called Challenge 24, and my children participated, but my son could memorize the whole diagram. It’s not difficult enough.

To give their son more of a challenge, Sakthi developed Numbers Bee, a math game that makes it harder to memorize patterns by using a wider range of numbers (1 to 99).

“You can’t memorize this pattern,” Kamatchi said. “You have to do it by yourself.”

So how exactly does the game work? Each match is made up of individual problems with several (sometimes hundreds) of possibilities to solve it. For example, at the beginner level, he may give you the digits 3 and 5 and ask you to use addition or subtraction to get a result of 8. Most problems have three or four digits, which increases the number of possible solutions. This demo gives examples:

After being developed for the computer about 20 years ago, they took the game to local schools to see if they would be interested in Numbers Bee tournaments. Several schools have taken them over and there have been tournaments from 2003 to 2016. Unlike a spelling bee, where participants arrive one at a time, Numbers Bee tournaments all participate at the same time.

Now, with the release of the mobile app, the Vels envision greater possibilities as the popularity of esports and competitive gaming grows.

The free app can also be played by a single player, both as a practice for Numbers Bee tournaments and as a standalone game which the company says To analyse of over 3,000 students, has been shown to help students achieve higher scores on the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) mathematical scale of 10 points on average, compared to students who did not play the game.

Research has also shown that math scores improve with the number of hours a student plays the game. 8 scale points from the Spring 2013 achievement,” the report said.

It’s also worth noting, as the pressure to get students to learn software coding at the intermediate and even elementary level is that the way players interact with numbers in the game can potentially help them learn the numbers more easily. coding languages.

The app also allows users to organize their own tournaments, with friends or on a family game night – although designed for children, the game is also a challenge for most adults – or they can participate in online video tournaments that sometimes offer prizes, if they’re sponsored.

Numbers Bee actively seeks schools, groups, and organizations to partner with to grow in Delaware and beyond.

“We want to see organizations take it statewide, nationally and internationally,” Kamatchi said, noting that, as a numbers game, it translates easily to an international stage.

“One plus one is two, it doesn’t matter the language,” Sakthi said.

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