Sweet App For Fractions

Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 1:36pm

Virginia Tech math app "Candy Factory" teaches middle school students fractions.

Candy is back in the classroom for students at Virginia's Shawsville Middle School, but this time, it is food for thought.

A team of Virginia Tech researchers have developed an iTunes app for middle school math called "Candy Factory."

"It is actually kind of a video game kind of and kids like video games," said 6th grader Kamrhen Thompson.

"It actually gives you something that makes learning fun," added Taylor Spence.

Researchers expect to receive $2 million for the project, which includes creating three additional applications.

All of them, including "Candy Factory" will be at no cost to teachers across the globe.

"For the past three or four years I've really been looking at different technologies starting with simple phones and pda devices and really the technology sort of caught up with this," said Michael Evans, creator of the app and professor with the School of Education at Virginia Tech.

Researchers say one of the most intriguing things about the "Candy Factory" app is that it actually copies the mental actions it takes for students to figure out fractions.

"That's the big part of the game is getting them engaged in math, having fun with it," said math teacher Rady Rudasill.

The team plans to continue developing "Candy Factory" and test the app throughout the semester in Montgomery County to save money.

Students in Danville and Floyd are on deck to try the app next year.

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