Math Catcher Festival

The Math Catcher Outreach Program is pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Math Catcher Festival and invites Grade 4-5 teachers and their students from across British Columbia and beyond to participate.

 The Math Catcher Festival is a celebration of students' imagination and creativity and their knowledge of mathematics and Indigenous cultures and traditions.

The Festival and associated activities are based on the belief that storytelling, accompanied by pictures and open-ended questions, helps students experience mathematics in action and encourages young people to enjoy math. This belief is one of the pillars of the Math Catcher Outreach Program and it is the central piece of each story and animated film in the Small Number series.

This initiative is inspired by the teaching practices of Ms. Alana Underwood, an elementary school teacher from Coquitlam, BC. Alana describes her practices in an article that is available here

Please indicate your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form by October 3, 2022.

The Small Number films incorporate problem-solving and Indigenous traditions into three to four-minute-long animated stories. Small Number is a young Indigenous boy who has an impressive aptitude for mathematics – and also a proclivity for getting into trouble.

Just as importantly, the stories aim to promote Indigenous culture. Of course, Indigenous culture is not a singular, cohesive set of beliefs and practices, but a myriad of traditional and modern values and practices. As a result, Small Number’s adventures take place in different physical contexts in different Indigenous communities, and yet the clever, playful protagonist remains the same. 

 We invite Grade 4-5 students to create their own Small Number stories and present them in the format of their choice: a picture book; a comic; a video; a powerpoint presentation with a voice over; a play; a poster; a computer game; or any other way or medium that fits their ideas.

The creation may be produced by an individual student or a group of students. We are looking for short stories which demonstrate the following:

  • that mathematics is applicable in real life;
  • that young people like Small Number encounter mathematics and require knowledge of it on a daily basis;
  • that mathematics can be interesting;
  • that mathematics can be used to solve real-life problems. 

The stories should be playful and promote kin and friendship in Indigenous settings.

 The Festival will be held virtually through Zoom on Thursday, December 1, 2022, from 9:00-12:00 PST. 

The main goal of the Festival will be to showcase student-created Small Number stories and will also include a number of activities, such as:

  • mathematical demonstrations;
  • presentations of the different Small Number films;
  • and virtual group and individual activities with members of the SFU Indigenous community.

All participants will get a Math Catcher Festival certificate and a selection of the admitted stories will be posted on the Math Catcher website and their authors will be recognized.

For any additional information, please contact Veselin Jungic at



  • Pam Borghardt, Math Catcher Outreach Program Communications, SFU
  • Terri Galligos, Resource Teacher, Indigenous Education, SD 43 Coquitlam
  • Pamela Hagen, Teacher (Retired), SD 43 Coquitlam
  • Veselin Jungic, Teaching Professor and Math Catcher Outreach Coordinator, SFU
  • Noreen Pankewich, Teacher (Retired), SD 73 Kamloops
  • Jennifer Whiffin, Numeracy Coordinator, SD 43 Coquitlam


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Your generosity allows the Math Catcher Outreach Program to continue to promote mathematics and scholarship among Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth.