Fields Announcements

June 29, 2016


Fields Institute to host Ontario's first SNAP Math Fair and Conference

TORONTO, May 1, 2006 - Math educators from across Ontario are gathering at the Fields Institute on Friday May 5, 2006, to participate in Ontario's first SNAP Math Fair and Conference, an interactive event that endeavors to help educators excite their students about mathematics by exposing young minds to fun hands-on problems and puzzles.

The name SNAP is an acronym for the guiding principles of this unconventional type of math fair: Student-centered, Non-competitive, All-inclusive, and Problem-based. It is based on the idea that learning mathematics is accomplished by solving meaningful and interesting problems. The conference is presented by the SNAP Mathematics Foundation, a non-profit organization - see - and is also sponsored by the Canadian Mathematical Society and the Fields Institute.

One of the day's activities will be a "real math fair" presented by local students and currently being organized at their elementary school. (For photos of past math fairs visit The projects at a SNAP math fair are problems that the students present to the visitors. In preparation, the students will have solved chosen problems, rewritten them in their own words, and created hands-on models for the visitors. At a SNAP math fair, the students are the facilitators who help the visitors solve the problems. This process of involving students in fun, rich mathematics is the underlying vision that makes the SNAP program so unique and effective. No first prize! No arguments about judging! Everyone is a winner!

The Math Fair will also feature guest speakers, including Dr. Ed Barbeau, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, and Bill Ritchie, owner/CEO of ThinkFun. Dr. Barbeau is the former chair of the education committee of the Canadian Mathematical Society. He has published a number of books directed to students and teachers of mathematics, and has worked with high school students preparing for Olympiad competitions, including five occasions where he accompanied the Canadian team to the International Mathematical Olympiad. Bill Ritchie is a member of the SNAP board of directors, and his company ThinkFun, (, produces high quality mathematical themed puzzles.

The Fields Institute, located in Toronto, is recognized as one of the world's leading independent mathematical research institutions. With a wide array of pure, applied, industrial, financial and educational programs, The Fields Institute attracts over 1,000 visitors annually from every corner of the globe, to collaborate on leading-edge research programs in the mathematical sciences. The Field's Institute is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, seven principal sponsoring universities, seven affiliate universities and several corporate sponsors. See for further details.

For more information, contact:  
Communications Officer
Telephone: (416) 348-9710 x3024
The Fields Institute
222 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3J1