The Birth of Batter Up:
The story of the International Math Bee® (IMB) begins with a simple yet innovative idea in the early 1980s. In 1982, the original Batter Up math game was conceived as a powerful tool to make learning basic math facts not only educational but fun. This game first took shape as a cardboard board game, crafted by a student teacher for a 5th-grade classroom. Its mission? To enhance the speed and accuracy of basic math facts through an engaging baseball-themed math board game.
Digitizing the Game: 1990s and 2000s
As the 1980s gave way to the 1990s, the game underwent a significant transformation. By the early 1990s, the second version of Batter Up was developed, this time for the computer. In 1992, the computer DOS version was copyrighted and found its way into classrooms, becoming a valuable resource for educators and students alike.
In 2003, the Windows version was uploaded to a web server, setting the stage for further growth and exploration in the digital realm. Teachers and students who experienced the game requested its use again in 2004, demonstrating its effectiveness as an educational tool. In 2005, the Batter Up Tournament made its way to several states across the USA, setting the stage for a significant turning point.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the game's evolution continued. The development of a Windows version of Batter Up began in 2000, expanding its potential and reach. This version introduced four math modes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, catering to diverse learning needs.
The National Math Bee® Era: 2006-2020
The pivotal year of 2006 marked the birth of the non-profit National Math Bee®. This organization, inspired by the success of Batter Up, used the tested and proven Batter Up Tournament structure as the foundation for its platform. The National Math Bee® brought together students and teachers from across all 50 US states, enhancing math education and competition.
For the next 14 years, the National Math Bee® served as a beacon of mathematical excellence, continuing to impact students' lives until 2020. It upheld its mission to improve math skills and foster a love for learning.
The Global Expansion: 2021 and Beyond
Fast forward to 2021, a year of transformation. The National Math Bee® evolved into the International Math Bee® (IMB), marking a significant upgrade. IMB expanded its reach, transcending borders, and became accessible to students not only in the USA but also in more than 20 other countries worldwide.
The IMB platform underwent a series of major upgrades, including enhancements to team play, rewriting all programming to leverage current technology, and upgrading the game standards of play to include math facts through 100. This revolution opened the doors for classrooms and students from all around the world to participate.
The Future Unveiled: 2022 and 2023
In 2022 and 2023, a groundbreaking overhaul and reimagining of the entire platform took place. The outcome? The sensational BatterUp® 5G (5th Generation), a game and contest accessible via cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, right at your fingertips. This evolution seamlessly integrated parents into the equation, offering heightened control and participation, creating a more collaborative educational environment.
What truly sets BatterUp® 5G apart is its innovative ranking system, providing an anonymous, real-time snapshot of each student's progress and standing in math skills across five distinct levels within their grade assignment. As IMB continues to transform and adapt, the future of elementary math education, educational apps, educational games, and game-based learning looks brighter than ever.