Math Video Challenge Rules and FAQ
2020-2021 Official Rules + Terms of Participation
For the Math Video Challenge
Please click the button below to go to the Official Rules + Terms of Participation for the Math Video Challenge, produced by MATHCOUNTS. The MATHCOUNTS Foundation reserves the right to alter these rules and procedures at any time. Team advisors are responsible for being familiar with the program rules and procedures outlined on that page. To participate, each student agrees to be bound by the program rules and consent to the program terms. Teams violating any rules may be subject to immediate disqualification.
General Program Questions
What exactly does a Math Video Challenge project consist of? What do students do in this program?
The Math Video Challenge is a project-based team contest that is completely free. Throughout the fall and winter, students work in teams of 4 to create a video that shows a solution to a MATHCOUNTS problem in a real-world setting.
Videos are evaluated based on their mathematical accuracy, communication, creativity, real-world scenario and adherence to contest rules. The contest has 4 levels of recognition—quarterfinalist, semifinalist, finalist and first place. Learn more about the program. Learn more about the role of a team advisor.
Is the Math Video Challenge in my area?
Yes! Video teams can be established in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and in schools worldwide affiliated with the Dept. of Defense and State Department. Any 4 U.S. students in grades 6-8 can form a team and, with the help of a team advisor, register.
Learn more about registration for this program below.
Who is eligible to compete?
Please refer to the Official Rules + Terms of Participation for the Math Video Challenge for complete information regarding student eligibility.
U.S. students enrolled in grades 6-8 are eligible to participate in the Math Video Challenge. Teams must have exactly 4 students, but these students do not need to be from the same school/group or state to form a team. A student also can be on more than 1 team.
Both schools and non-school groups such as tutoring/enrichment centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, Girl Scouts troops and National Society of Black Engineer Junior Chapters are eligible to participate, as long as the team meets the eligibility requirements stated above.
How are videos evaluated in the contest?
Download the Judging Guidelines. Videos are evaluated based on 5 criteria:
Mathematical Content: Is an appropriate approach to solving the problem used? Is the solution accurate as it is shown and explained?
Communication: Is the math communicated clearly and logically? Is time in the video used effectively?
Creativity: Is the video's concept original or memorable? Does the video show imagination?
Real-World Scenario: Does the video present a clear, real-world application of math concepts in the problem?
Adherence to Rules: Is the video 5 minutes or less? Does it follow rules regarding copyrighted material (like music, images or video clips)? Did the students do the work themselves?
Unlike previous years, beginning in 2019-2020, there is no general public voting in any level of the Math Video Challenge. MATHCOUNTS judges with expertise in the areas of STEM, middle school education, technology and communications will review every video submitted by the deadline to determine the 50-100 Quarterfinalists. A larger panel of judges will then review the Quarterfinalists to determine the 12 Semifinalists and 5 Judges’ Choice winners, and then the 4 Finalists.
Teams may create as many videos as desired in the contest, but each must answer a different problem from the Math Video Challenge Playbook and only 1 video will be eligible for advancement.
When does the contest take place? What are the important dates for this program?
Get the Critical Dates for 2020-2021 in the Math Video Challenge Playbook. A summary is below.
September 15, 2020: Registration and video submission open
January 5, 2021: Math Video Challenge Prize Drawing #1
February 5, 2021: Math Video Challenge Prize Drawing #2
March 5, 2021: Math Video Challenge Prize Drawing #3
March 17, 2021: Deadline to submit videos in the contest at 11:59pm ET*
March 22, 2021: Announcement of quarterfinalists
April 5, 2021: Announcement of semifinalists & Judges' Choice winners
April 12, 2021: Announcement of finalists
May 8-10, 2021: Math Video Challenge Finals
*Any offline permission forms must be received by MATHCOUNTS by March 17, 2021 at 5:00pm ET.
Please note that on February 22, 2021, MATHCOUNTS extended the video submission deadline to March 17.
Can a student participate in more than one MATHCOUNTS program?
Yes! We encourage students to participate in all 3 MATHCOUNTS programs.
Learn more about the National Math Club. Both schools and non-school groups are eligible to participate in the National Math Club, so most Math Video Challenge teams also can participate in this program.
Learn more about the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series. Only schools are eligible to participate in the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series, so students should register through their official school of record.
How do I register for the Math Video Challenge?
- A teacher, parent/guardian or other adult volunteer can register online as a team advisor here. The team advisor (1) must be an adult and (2) must have a working email address to start the registration process.
- The team advisor creates a new team on the program website. Team advisors with more than 1 team would repeat this (and each subsequent) step for each team, so all teams are linked to the advisor’s account.
- The team advisor requests parent/guardian permission for each student team member—either online or offline. Because this program involves students creating (and often starring in) videos that are posted online, every student’s parent/guardian must provide permission for his/her child to participate. This adds an extra step to the registration process, but it’s an important one! Download the Offline Permission Form.
- The parent/guardian of each student team member completes the permission form and submits it to MATHCOUNTS. Download the Offline Permission Form.
- A team’s registration is complete once parent/guardian permission is received for all 4 students on a team.
How much does it cost to participate? What comes with a registration?
Registration is completely free thanks to the support of our sponsors, espcially DoD STEM, the title sponsor of the Challenge. Registered team advisors receive the free Producers Kit with a printed Math Video Challenge Playbook and tripod, plus online access to resources.
Teams that submit a video also are eligible for participation prizes and awards within the Math Video Challenge, which is explained below in the next section of FAQs.
How does MATHCOUNTS protect the data I enter in the Math Video Challenge website?
MATHCOUNTS uses security procedures designed to protect the information obtained from all participants against unauthorized access and alteration during its storage and use by us. MATHCOUNTS has implemented a security measure called SSL encryption that protects submitted information during its transmission. SSL utilizes data encryption to create a secure environment in which to transmit information.
Registered Team Questions
Where can I find the Math Video Challenge Playbook and other resources?
Math Video Challenge teams can find all resources, guidelines, forms and templates at www.mathcounts.org/mvcteams.
A hard copy of the Math Video Challenge Playbook is included in the Producers Kit mailed to registered team advisors. This resource also is available online at www.mathcounts.org/playbook.
Copyrighted Materials Guidelines
Outside Help Guidelines
Graphic organizers for brainstorming and storyboarding, rubrics for teachers to use, permission forms, checklists and more.
When can I expect to receive my mailed Producers Kit?
Producers Kits are mailed on a rolling basis from early October 2020 through February 22, 2021.
Generally kits arrive within 1-3 weeks after the team advisor registers. If you have not received your kit within 3 weeks of registering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the role of the team advisor?
The team advisor is the adult (usually a teacher or parent/guardian) who registers the team. Every team advisor must:
Collect parent/guardian permission forms (either offline or online) for all 4 team members.
Ensure students do not receive outside help on their video. See Outside Help Guidelines.
Ensure students follow rules regarding the use of copyrighted material in their video. See Copyrighted Materials Guidelines.
Approve the students' video after verifying it follows the contest rules and is appropriate.
Team advisors do not need to:
Know how to solve MATHCOUNTS problems or make a video...the students should do this, and we provide numerous resources to help them succeed.
Spend their own money for their students to be successful. In fact, we recommend your students use the free materials and resources.
What are the roles and expectations for the 4 team members?
The Math Video Challenge is a contest for students and a learning experience. That means all work contributing directly to the team’s video must be completed solely by the 4 team members. Very limited outside assistance is permitted, as explained in the Outside Help Guidelines.
The 4 team members may split up the various tasks associated with the project as they like, and all 4 members do not necessarily need to appear in the video.
Can students change the provided problems?
Students can modify the names of the characters, locations, props or objects discussed in the math problem they choose, and even the activity the characters in the problem are doing. As long as the same problem is solved, and it is clear which playbook problem the video explains, the students are allowed to change the context of a playbook problem for their video.
Can videos contain other actors or content that the team members themselves did not create?
Please refer to the Official Rules + Terms of Participation for the Math Video Challenge for complete information regarding copyrighted material and outside help.
Copyrighted Materials: All content in the videos (including music, audio, speech/voiceovers, stills, video supers or other audiovisual materials) must fall in one of the following categories:
Entirely original creations (written, created and performed by the 4 students)
Original creations of works in the public domain
Content that allows royalty-free use of the material with no restrictions by the students/team and MATHCOUNTS and that is properly attributed.
Teams should read through the Copyrighted Materials Guidelines and ask the MATHCOUNTS Foundation if they are unsure whether including a particular work would be in violation of the rules.
Outside Help: All work contributing directly to the team’s video must be completed solely by the 4 team members. Very limited outside assistance is permitted, and teams should read through the Outside Help Guidelines and ask the MATHCOUNTS Foundation if they are unsure whether a particular type of assistance would be in violation of the rules.
Additional Actors: Additional people not on the official team may appear in the video, but only the 4 team members may work on the video and be recognized for advancement and awards in the contest. The team must obtain written permission from any person (or from the person’s parent/guardian if under age 18) who is not on the team but appearing in the video. Download these forms at www.mathcounts.org/mvcteams.
Teams that violate the rules concerning copyrighted materials and outside help will be ineligible for advancement or awards. When in doubt, please ask the MATHCOUNTS national office by emailing us at email@example.com.
What are the technical requirements for videos?
Videos submitted in the Math Video Challenge:
Must be no more than 5 minutes in length.
Must be in English or subtitled in English.
Must be less than 500MB and one of the following file types: .mp4, .ogg, .avi, .mov, .wmv, .flv, .ogv or .webm.
See the Technical Guidelines to learn more about our recommendations for video production.
How do I submit a video? What happens after I’ve submitted my team’s video?
Only teams that have completed every step of the registration process can submit a video.
The team advisor can upload the team’s video by logging in to their Math Video Challenge account.
The team advisor must watch the team’s video in its entirety and confirm it adheres to the contest rules in order to approve the video through his/her Math Video Challenge account.
As soon as a team submits a video, the MATHCOUNTS Foundation owns it and can it use it to, for example, promote the Math Video Challenge. Videos submitted in the contest will be posted on the Math Video Challenge website from March 17, 2021 until the 2021-2022 program year begins. We include some videos in an online archive as examples and learning tools for teachers and students.
What awards can students earn in the contest?
Every team that submits a video by 11:59pm ET on March 17, 2021 will receive a Certificate of Participation for each student (emailed as a PDF template to the team advisor).
In addition, there are prize drawings on January 5, 2021 and February 5, 2021 for all teams that have submitted a video by 11:59pm ET on the drawing day. For each drawing, one winning video will be selected at random to win $20 Amazon gift cards for the 4 students and team advisor. Each video acts as a “ticket” in the drawing, meaning teams that submit multiple videos will have multiple entries for the drawings.
Quarterfinalists will receive emailed certificates and entry into the Quarterfinalist Prize Drawing for $20 Amazon gift cards for the 4 students and team advisor.
Semifinalists will receive printed certificates and movie ticket gift cards for the 4 students and team advisor
Judges’ Choice winners will receive printed certificates and movie clapper plaques for the 4 students and team advisor.
Finalists will receive plaques and an all-expenses-paid trip for the 4 team members and team advisor to the Math Video Challenge Finals.
The First Place team will receive trophies for the 4 students and team advisor and $1,000 college scholarships for the 4 students.
Still Have Unanswered Questions?