Phil Brockman, 14, of Thompson, N.D., an eighth-grader at the PRB Homeschool, has worked to increase enthusiasm for math and science among young people over the past three years by coaching elementary school students for math competitions, and by writing math and science articles for a regional newspaper's teen page. "To some, math is an endless battle that makes no sense," said Phil. "I want people to see that math is much more like a soccer match than a battle - there are multiple ways of achieving the same goal, but most importantly, there is excitement in the process!"
Phil, a three-time state middle-school math champion, serves as co-coach and organizer for the Math Masters team at his former elementary school. His responsibilities include recruiting team members, preparing weekly problems for them to practice, and coaching them in math contests. Instead of using textbooks, he creates fun and engaging math games and activities to stoke his students' enthusiasm and improve their skills. Recently, Phil also helped revitalize a middle-school math club that was in danger of dissolving. In addition, Phil has written more than 20 articles for the teen page of the Grand Forks Herald, most of them about math or science topics. "Through my coaching and writing, I hope to make more people fans of math and problem-solving - skills that are utilized in all fields and aspects of life," said Phil