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Presumpscot Student’s Winning Video Combines Math, Storytelling

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Presumpscot Student’s Winning Video Combines Math, Storytelling
Posted on 05/05/2016
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Xavier Bradford, a third-grader at Presumpscot Elementary School, has won first place in a competition for creating a video that combines math and engaging narration to tell an adventure story that he wrote.

Xavier competed in the Middle School Division through a Freeport-based nonprofit called Meridian Stories. He won first place in the “Graphic Journal” competition by creatively performing a TED Talk about the adventure story he authored. The story is about a baker's son named Felix and his crew who venture out into the Atlantic Ocean to prove that Felix “can do more than burn apple pies.”

Xavier designed graphs and equations that represent the ups and downs of the journey, including the distance the submarine was from Maine, the number of dents in the ship from fighting amphibians, and the confidence levels of Felix along the way.

The third-grader received high praise from mentors through Meridian Stories. One mentor said, “The math was very well-documented, the narration was engaging, and the visuals were very well-chosen. Your creativity was my favorite part of the video, from the name of the submarine to the ideas and events present in the narrative. Incredibly well-done.”

Other feedback included, “This is a really great video! I was hooked on the story right from the start, and it remained interesting throughout – the story carried me through the video on its own. I was perhaps most impressed with the creative variables you chose and how they actually helped to tell the story. I'm so glad you made this, and I hope you continue to do great work like this in the future. Great job!”

Another mentor said, “The creativity was astonishing, and it was one of the rare cases where the math was all there!”

Through several months of studying linear equations, piecewise functions, inequalities, and graphing stories, Xavier exceeded all expectations through his winning performance.

Check out his TED Talk here.

Meridian Stories is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prepare students for the 21st century workplace by providing opportunities to collaborate, create, problem solve and lead in the development and production of meaningful digital narratives that address curricular goals.