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Game aims to hone kids math skills

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POSTED: April 21, 2010 8:51 a.m.
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Mathmindz is designed to help any level student work on math skills

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Aiming to help students perfect the basics of mathematics, South Carolina resident Verdell Fulton has presented the Liberty County school district with the opportunity to introduce his Mathmindz board game to schools, beginning at the elementary level.
“My goal is to take kids back to the basics. Sometimes we get so far advanced that we forget the fundamentals,” Fulton said.
He created Mathmindz more than 10 years ago but has developed his educational board game in just the past few years.
“I chose to do a board game because it makes it affordable and it draws families together,” he said. “The game helps perfect addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills.”
Schools in Fulton’s home of Beaufort, S.C., already are using Mathmindz as a curriculum supplement.
When he brought the game to the administration in Liberty County, Fulton said the idea was well received by school board Chairwoman Lily Baker and by mathematics specialist Susan Avant.
“Ms. Baker explained to us what it would take to be on the vendor list, and we left one of our games to be passed around [to staff and teachers],” he said.
Fulton, who majored in early childhood education and is currently pursuing a degree in psychology, said many would be amazed at the amount of work that such a project requires. Fulton said in the first four years alone, he spent time researching, writing game instructions and finding a reputable producer.
Delano Service, EPI, the company that produces the Mathmindz board game, has also worked with Disney and Nickelodeon, he said. After working with a graphic designer to construct the look of the game, Fulton said it took about a month and a half to actually produce the game.
Fulton also retained a patent attorney to further bolster his game’s value.
“Mathmindz has been granted a utility patent for the game,” he said.
Mathmindz is not the only focus of Fulton’s company; he plans to develop other versions that highlight geography, telling time and even preparing for standardized tests such as the SAT.
When some ask what makes his game different from others in the educational field, Fulton responds, “Some games are so game-y that they don’t educate, while others are so educational that they’re boring.”
Mathmindz is a balance of both fun and learning, he said.
“This educates and entertains kids, and that’s the overall drive.”
Also, Fulton said the hands-on participation required for Mathmindz shows its value as well. “Technology has its place, but board games do as well,” he said.
The game is geared toward elementary students but it can benefit older students also, he said. “I’ve found that many high-schoolers are still struggling with fifth- and sixth-grade math. This game has no age limit.”
Fulton said he is interested in more than a local impact, too. His goal is to ensure Mathmindz and other educational board games in the works reach every public school in the United States.
“My goal is to give every child the opportunity to perfect the basics,” he said.

 

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