Khan Academy takes Idaho by ‘LearnStorm’


Idaho students are taking the “ultimate math challenge” designed to help them improve their math skills while competing against peers and schools across the state.

Lt. Gov. Brad Little presents, Sal Khan (center) and Nampa superintendent David Peterson (right) an Idaho proclamation certificate during the kick-off event at Lone Star Middle School.

The Khan Academy, a free, educational website, recently launched its newest initiative in Idaho —  LearnStorm, a math challenge that nearly 25,000 Idaho students signed up for and started on January 29.

“It’s about who shows the most grit, perseverance and growth mindset,” Khan Academy founder Sal Khan said. “It isn’t the type of competition for who knows the most math problems or who can do them the fastest.”

On Monday, Khan kicked off LearnStorm Idaho at Nampa’s Lone Star Middle School.

“We could have picked almost anywhere in the world to expand this effort, but the eagerness of Idaho teachers and students to learn differently and expand possibility is something we couldn’t pass up,” Khan said.

Students in Idaho join the Bay Area, Chicago and Ireland as one of only four regions to participate in the nine-week challenge. Students will earn points to unlock real-life rewards for themselves and their schools by practicing math skills aligned to standards on Khan Academy. Students in grades 3 through 12 are eligible to participate.

“I struggle a lot with math and I think it’s going to be easier watching videos and solving problems,” said Isabella Barrientes, an eighth grader at Lone Star Middle School.

There are two types of points to be earned by students throughout the program: “mastery points” represent understanding of math skills and “hustle points” are earned when a student demonstrates perseverance and grit when learning a new skill.

“I’m excited to win the prizes and beat the other schools in the Treasure Valley,” said Blake Nordstrom, an eighth grader at Lone Star Middle School.

Throughout the challenge, students and teachers will be able to check their status on weekly leaderboards leading up to three different cups. Students can work toward weekly milestones and complete growth mindset activities that Khan Academy has created.

“I’m pumped and ready to do math,” said Jonas Plew, an eighth grader at Lone Star Middle School.

To sign up for LearnStorm Idaho, click here.

Note: LearnStorm Idaho and Idaho Education News are funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.


Andrew Reed

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