UCI News

School of Education is awarded $1.25 million to introduce novel math game in K-12 district

February 23, 2021
School of Education is awarded $1.25 million to introduce novel math game in K-12 district
In Fraction Ball, arcs and colors are added to the design of a basketball court, helping children visualize equivalencies between fractions and decimals. UCI researchers will adapt the game for the Santa Ana Unified School District. Andres Bustamante

The UCI School of Education has received a three-year, $1.25 million research award from the NewSchools Venture Fund’s EF+Math Program to introduce Fraction Ball in the Santa Ana Unified School District. With the innovative mathematics game, arcs and colors are added to the design of a basketball court, helping children visualize equivalencies between fractions and decimals. The traditional 3-point arc is converted to 1 point. Closer to the basket, smaller arcs, showing fractions on one side and decimals on the other, represent shots worth  less than 1 point: 1/4 or .25, 1/2  or .50 and 3/4 or .75 at one end of the court and 1/3 or .333 and 2/3 or .666 at the opposite end. Two courtside number lines depicting equivalencies between fractions and decimals are employed to help keep score. “Fractions are a notoriously difficult content area for young students and a barrier to engaging in more complex math like algebra,” said Andres Bustamante, an assistant professor of education at UCI and leader of the research team. “Fraction Ball is a more accessible way to learn and is based in the latest research.”