Learning to use new technology is an important part of this program, but you still can produce a video for free. Look through this guide for recommendations.

Technical Requirements

For All Video Submissions

Don't let a silly mistake make your awesome video ineligible for awards and recognition! Make sure you understand and follow these specs when producing your Math Video Challenge project.

All 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.
  • Must be one of the following file types: .mp4, .avi, .wmv, .ogv or .webm
We Recommend Using Free Technology

It can be tempting to spend lots of money on professional software or equipment...but doing so is not necessary, and frankly not even recommended, by MATHCOUNTS. Remember:

  • The goal of this program is to introduce students to film-making so they can develop and practice an array of skills, not prove they are professional cinematographers.
  • This program is designed to be free, so that anyone can participate and succeed.
  • Typically, more expensive software packages require users to have significant time and expertise, making them unsuitable for students new to film-making.
  • Creative filming on basic equipment and simple video-editing techniques using free software can produce amazing results! See some examples in the Math Video Challenge Spotlight Videos
A video with simple effects that masterfully communicates how math is used in the real world will fare better in this contest than a cinematographic masterpiece that is flimsy on the math, communication and real-world application.
Filming and editing should contribute to your team's goals, not be your team's goal. Nowhere in the Judging Guidelines will you find mention of excellent editing or filming. This is intentional. The point of well-placed effects or animations in the Math Video Challenge is to make your solution easier to understand, to make your story more compelling or to bring your creative ideas to life.

When in doubt, ask!

If you'd like help finding free filming and editing technology or have questions about which types of hardware and software we recommend, please do not hesitate to ask the MATHCOUNTS national office by emailing [email protected]!
Hardware for Filming

Free Tripod Provided by MATHCOUNTS

Upon request and while supplies last, registered team advisors receive a flexible tripod for free. This tripod is designed to be used with a smartphone and has flexible legs that can either stand on a surface or wrap around an object for angled filming.


Many teams shoot their video on a smartphone, and it is what MATHCOUNTS recommends teams use. The camera in most smartphones today is as good as the average video camera, and some of the best Math Video Challenge videos have been shot on a student's or team advisor's smartphone. Many free video editing apps (including our recommendations below) also can be used with a smartphone, making video production more seamless.

Video Camera

Teams also can use a standard video camera for filming their video. If a student or team advisor does not already own a video camera, we recommend the team borrow one from a local public library or school media center.


The free flexible tripod provided by MATHCOUNTS likely will not work with a standard video camera, so we advise teams using these to find another way to steady the camera.


A tablet, such as an iPad, Galaxy Tab or Surface, also is a good option for filming. As with smartphones, most tablets today include a camera as good as the average video camera. Many free video editing apps (including our recommendations below) also can be used with a tablet, making video production more seamless.


The free flexible tripod provided by MATHCOUNTS likely will not work with a tablet, so we advise teams using tablets to find another way to steady the camera.

iMovie (for iOS and Mac)

iMovie is a free video editing software that teams can use on iPhones, iPads and Mac laptops. It is one of the most common tools used by Math Video Challenge teams, and also includes multiple royalty-free music and sound options

Microsoft Photos (for Windows)

Don't be fooled by the name! Microsoft Photos is not just for's also a really common free video editing program that can be used on Surface tablets and PC laptops.

Adobe Premiere Rush (for Android)

Adobe Premiere Rush is a free app available through Google Play, so Android devices like Galaxy smartphones or tablets can run this video editing program.