U.S. ranks No. 13 in new collaborative problem-solving test

The United States may be known for its rugged individualism. But it turns out American teens are, surprisingly, much better at group collaboration than at individual academic work. That’s according to a new, unusual version of the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, which tested collaborative problem-solving skills among 15-year-olds in more than 50 countries and regions around the world in 2015. Those results were released last week.
The PISA is known for its testing of high school students around the world, especially in math and reading. In general, nations with high math and reading scores also tended to do well on this new collaboration test. Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea topped the new social skills ranking (see chart below), and they’re also among the top 10 for individual student achievement.

But for some countries, there was a big deviation. For example, the United States ranked 39th in math on the 2015 PISA test. But in collaborative problem-solving, the U.S. ranked 13th. For [Mainland] China, it was the opposite. Four regions in mainland China, including Beijing and Shanghai, collectively ranked 6th in math and in 2015.  But these Chinese regions ranked 26th in collaborative problem-solving.

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San Diego Jr Botball® Challenge • Hoover High, Between 9AM-12AM

Thank You to All Students, Teachers, and Parents for A Great Day at Hoover High
Hoover Cluster: 10 Elementary Schools • 2 Middle Schools • 1 High School

  • Thank You  Hoover High Robotics Club & Students for Hosting the “Challenge”
  • Special Thanks to the San Diego Rotary Club STEM Committee for their support!

This Saturday we introduced the K-2 Challenges using the Probot® robot for younger children:

Early Learning Advantage!™ ⇒ Programming • Problem-Solving • Applied Mathematics!

Hoover High School is hosting a Junior Botball® Challenge event on Sat, November 11, 2017 at the small gym. This event will be free and open to the public.


  • Students can drop by to “Take the Jr Botball Challenge” any time between 9 AM & 12 AM.
  • Registered teams do not have to pay an additional fee to participate, but each school’s Botball coordinator must complete the sign-up form for this event at the bottom of the page.
  • This event is open to all registered Junior Botball® Challenge teams.

There will be 6 Challenges at this event, Challenges 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, & Dance Party Challenge:

Challenges 1, 2, & 5 are for the beginner level, Challenges 9 & 11 will be for the intermediate level & the 6th challenge will be a mystery revealed onsite.

  • JBC Challenge 2: Ring Around the Can (beginning)- The robot will drive out and around the can in circle 6, and return to the starting area.
  • JBC Challenge 1: Tag You’re It (beginning)- The robot will drive to the can in circle 9, touch it, and return to the starting area.
  • JBC Challenge 5: Dance Party (beginning)-

Dance Party participants will receive a completion award when the robot “dances” to the music provided by the students and completes all of the performance standards:

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Welcome to….

The California Math & Science CHALLENGE!

A Science and Information Technology Program modeled on the US Olympic Development Program.

Three steps to developing world-class math and science “athletes”:
  • Step 1: Get young children playing the “Game” of Math & Science
  • Step 2: Identify those with a true love for that game; 
  • Step 3: Get them World-class Coaching as they prepare for Tournaments, Active Learning Design™ Contests, and Home Learning (Online Mastery) Challenges.

How Do We Create World-Class Math & Science Athletes?

Let’s Get Our Kids in the Game!

To fix American students’  decades long slide in Math & Science knowledge, we need to start American children playing the game of Math & Science at a young age! When a country wants to compete in the Olympics does it go out and recruit high school freshman to start developing soccer stars or volleyball stars? Of course not! Five or six years old is the right age to introduce young athletes to your game. We have been introducing Kindergarten to 8th Grade students to programming, problem-solving, and applied mathematics for 17 years now with great results.

To Get Here …                  →                 … Start Here

Why shouldn’t we do the same for Math & Science?

Mental Athletes: 5 to 11 Years of Age!

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“Arts & Sciences Academy” Students Shine in Jr Botball Robotics Tournament

In this ⇒ Video Clip two students on the Arts & Sciences Academy Robotics Team solve the “Serpentine Challenge” in Saturday’s Junior Botball Robotics Tournament in San Diego.

The tournament was organized by Jeff Major:

The Arts & Sciences Academy Robotics Team of Dharma and Martina were the ONLY team to solve all 5 challenges in the tournament! (their code is below the “read more” tag) Arts & Sciences Academy student Max, arriving near the end of the morning also finished 4 out of 5 challenges before running out of time!

Since the weekend’s tournament the MISD robotics team students have moved on to the second level of Jr Botball: Learning about Sensors, Light Energy & the Electromagnetic Spectrum, Digital vs Analog inputs, and more…!

Jr Botball is a program designed to get American kids playing the “game” of Math & Science at an early age. 3rd graders and up learn to program in Objective C to “teach” their robots to solve a series of challenges that require them to understand coding, electronics, sensors, simple machines, and more:

CA Math & Science Challenge:
Programming • Problem-Solving • Applied Mathematics • sTEm Design

To see the CODE the girls wrote to solve the serpentine challenge and more photos from the Tournament…

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