The Challenge

M3 Challenge is unlike any other high school math competition! It is a math modeling contest that will push you to the limits of what you know about math and test your ability to work as a team and under strict time restraints. This contest gives you the unique opportunity to work on a real problem using each of your team member’s individual math toolkits, as well as problem solving and critical thinking. Teams are presented with a previously unknown problem scenario, and should work together, using the math modeling process to represent, analyze, make predictions and otherwise provide insight into that real-world phenomena and the posed problem’s questions. Additional prizes are available for teams who opt to use technical computing as part of their solution.

Teams that do well get money for college, and top teams also win transportation and accommodation to travel to New York City, present to a panel of judges, network with computational professionals, and are forever known as M3 Challenge WINNERS.

What all students get:

  • A chance for an expenses paid trip to New York City for your team to present for professionals and make great connections.
  • $45,000 in scholarships split between the top three teams; $100,000 in total awarded to a total of 37 winning teams.
  • Feedback and commentary from professional mathematician judges.
  • A terrific team experience.

What all educators get:

  • Comments for their team’s work from professionals.
  • $500 CE or departmental gift award for the top 6 teams.
  • Invitations to M3 Challenge events at NCTM and other professional teacher organization conferences.

Checkout these free handbooks, software, and other resources to prepare for success:

  • Math Modeling: Getting Started & Getting Solutions
  • Math Modeling: Computing & Communicating
  • Access software licenses and learn to code
  • Math Modeling: 7 part instructional videos (~21 min total)
  • Teaching Math Modeling: 3 part instructional videos (~27 min total)
  • Sample problems / Interactive Practice Problems
  • Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Math Modeling Education

While the process for selecting winners is rigorous and intense, there are 37 team scholarship prizes and great recognition for solid efforts. Learn more about M3 Challenge via the tabs on this page.