*Vandervelde has a classroom tip: "Assign each student, or pair of students, unrelated problems so that they can own their progress and not compete with or be scooped by classmates." Are math contests the answer? Some kids simply aren't interested in competitive math.*

*Vandervelde has a classroom tip: "Assign each student, or pair of students, unrelated problems so that they can own their progress and not compete with or be scooped by classmates." Are math contests the answer? Some kids simply aren't interested in competitive math."You want it to be the child's idea," Rusczyk said. "Math circles bring K-12 students together with mathematically sophisticated leaders in an informal setting, after school or on weekends, to work on interesting problems or topics in mathematics.*

(For instance, 14 is one such number, since we can write 14 = 2 3 4 5.) For most, this qualifies as a hard problem, in that we’ve never encountered a question like this before, so can’t base our approach on any known method, and consequently may have no idea where to even begin.

In this situation, the teacher adopts the role of a coach, providing problem-solving strategies (try specific cases, collect data, look for patterns), supplying encouragement not to give up, celebrating partial results, pushing for a thorough explanation of conjectures, and guiding the student to make an effective presentation of their findings," Vandervelde explained, adding "I would rather a student occasionally spend several days wrestling with a single problem in this manner than forever plowing through more routine exercises." If more than one student is ready for an extra challenge?

(For instance, 14 is one such number, since we can write 14 = 2 3 4 5.) For most, this qualifies as a hard problem, in that we’ve never encountered a question like this before, so can’t base our approach on any known method, and consequently may have no idea where to even begin.

Math can be a daunting task when you don't have the right support.

They need guidance on a journey from numeracy to mathematical mastery, Rusczyk said.

How fewer math problems can help kids become math masters While children who are numerate can apply the math and problem solving skills they have to problems that are similar to the ones they have already solved, mathematical mastery prepares youngsters to combine the tools they already have to solve problems unlike ones they have seen before, Rusczyk said. He's the head of school for Proof School, a San Francisco based private liberal arts secondary school that caters to "students are internally driven to spend more than two hours on math in school every day," according to its website. Since solving unfamiliar problems requires contemplation, less is more when it comes to the number of problems kids tackle at once.

The motivation for starting Project Euler, and its continuation, is to provide a platform for the inquiring mind to delve into unfamiliar areas and learn new concepts in a fun and recreational context.

The intended audience include students for whom the basic curriculum is not feeding their hunger to learn, adults whose background was not primarily mathematics but had an interest in things mathematical, and professionals who want to keep their problem solving and mathematics on the cutting edge.

Teachers and guardians can help kids develop mathematical mastery by adopting a coaching approach, Rusczyk and Vandervelde noted.

"To illustrate, consider the classic question of which numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive positive integers.

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