OUTSIDE HELP GUIDELINES
Math Video Challenge is a contest for students and a learning experience, which means the students must do all of the work for the video.
Look through this guide for help.
We get it. Students may not know how to do some tasks involved in producing a video…but learning these skills makes this program awesome and meaningful for students. Therefore:
- Every step in the creative process (brainstorming, storyboarding, solving math problems, screenwriting and coming up with interesting effects or ideas) must be imagined and executed by the students.
- Costumes, props, sets and other physical elements of the video must be either made by the students or be available for general use.
- Filming and acting in the video must be done either by the students or by someone else at the direction of the students.
- Editing of the video, including special effects or animation, must be done by the students.
When in doubt, ask!
There are a lot of steps to creating a video, which is great for engaging students with different talents and interests! Some of these steps are:
Selecting a great math problem for a video
Thinking through the solution(s) to be presented in the video
Brainstorming ideas about the story, determining a real-world application for the problem and writing the script
Acting in, filming and editing the video
We love when students make their video special with memorable costumes, props or sets! Here are guidelines for “appropriate advising.”
- Drive students to a thrift store to buy costumes.
- Teach students how to sew.
- Encourage students to look online for DIY costume ideas.
- Help students find simple Halloween costumes, a face painting kit or felt/fabric to make costume elements.
- Help students find/buy materials for a backdrop or props.
- Advise students to make a smaller draft version of a backdrop before making the large version.
- Drive students to stores so they can speak to store owners about filming there.
- Supervise students while they film on location.
Inappropriate Outside Help:
- Sew or make any pieces of the costume yourself.
- Paint the students’ faces for the video yourself.
- Hire a professional costume designer.
- Draw or paint any of the backdrop yourself.
- Make props yourself.
- Make arrangements yourself with a store owner to use her shop for the video location.
Filming and acting give students the chance to be creative and to share their ideas. Here are guidelines for “appropriate advising.”
- Help students find video/recording equipment. MATHCOUNTS provided a phone tripod to assist with filming on a phone. Students could also check out equipment from their local/school library.
- Supervise students using borrowed equipment.
- Encourage students to practice with the equipment first.
- Hold the camera during recording—so all team members can be in a shot—and follow students’ directions for camera angles and shots.
- Provide honest feedback about how well you can hear and understand the dialogue.
- Require students to provide all direction regarding acting and line delivery to non-team members appearing in the video.
- Ensure students collect a Media Release Form for every non-team member in the video.
Inappropriate Outside Help:
- Hire a video production company or professional.
- Suggest filming angles or creative shots.
- Write or direct the video for the students.
- Suggest students re-shoot a portion of the video to incorporate your ideas.
Editing a video and adding special effects allow students to gain valuable experience using video editing or animation software and to let their creativity shine. Here are guidelines for “appropriate advising.”
- Without doing any work for the actual video, teach students how to (1) use editing software, (2) apply special effects, (3) use animation software, (4) combine video clips, (5) incorporate audio clips or (6) add captions.
- Encourage students to ask a technology teacher for lessons on using video editing or animation software.
- Encourage your team to research or watch instructional videos about the software recommended by MATHCOUNTS.
- Suggest students practice editing video footage before working on their Math Video Challenge video.
- Suggest students research a green screen and how it works.
- Explain what music/sound effects are permitted (see Copyrighted Materials Guidelines).
- Remind students to properly credit any permitted work that is not their own.
Inappropriate Outside Help:
- edit any part of the video
- apply any special effects
- create any animation or illustration
- select, suggest or incorporate music/sound effects
- add captions
Is it outside help if a parent holds the camera so all 4 students can be in the video?
Not if a parent is simply holding the camera steady so all 4 team members can appear in the video. But, if a parent is deciding where and how to hold the camera to do a creative shot, that would be considered outside help.
Is it outside help if I limit my students to a specific math topic or difficulty level for the problem they select?
No, this would not be considered outside help. However, a team advisor should not assign a specific problem to students.
Is it outside help if I point out an error in the math explanation?
Letting students know you believe there may be a math error in their video and encouraging them to find it is not outside help. Students need to make the correction – or re-shoot that portion of the video – on their own.
Is it outside help if a team buys its costumes from a store?
No, not within reason. We do not want teams purchasing lavish costumes or hiring costume designers.
Is it outside help if I do lessons about the creative process or editing for my students?
No, as long as the lessons do not create content or footage used in the students’ videos.
Is it outside help if I show my students how to edit by editing the first few scenes of their video and then have them do the rest?
Yes, this is considered outside help because you would be contributing directly to the making of their video.
Is it outside help if I show my students a second solution to their math problem?
Yes, this is considered outside help. You can encourage your students to come up with their own second solution, but you should not provide it.
Is it outside help if I pay for video editing or animation software for my students to use?
No, but we strongly recommend using free or low-cost video editing or animation software.