Cedar Crest MaPP High School Challenge

What is the MaPP High School Challenge ’17 at Cedar Crest College?

The MaPP High School Challenge ’17 (HSC16) is a team-based mathematical puzzle competition for high school students held at multiple college campuses across the country. Unlike most math competitions, HSC16 doesn’t require any knowledge beyond basic algebra and rewards players’ problem-solving ability over their previous mathematical background. HSC17 will be held on Friday, April 28, 2017 at Cedar Crest College's campus. Check-in begins at 10am and the game will last until around 3pm (lunch is provided).

More information on the competition follows. Contact Dr. James Hammer <jmhammer@cedarcrest.edu> or Dr. Joshua Harrington <jsharrin@cedarcrest.edu> for more details.


MaPP’s mathematical content is pulled from various areas unrepresented in the usual secondary curriculum, such as design theory, game theory, or topology.


MaPP shredded the multiple choice tests, and instead designed several mathematical puzzles which will give your students a taste of real mathematical problem solving, and prepare them for the types of questions asked in many job interviews.


MaPP HSC is a team-based competition, emphasizing collaboration and communication over individual work, as teamwork is crucial for success in both industry and academia.


These challenges won’t all be solved sitting down – players will find themselves running around Cedar Crest’s campus to track down clues and uncover new puzzles to solve.

Teaser Puzzle

Download and solve the HSC16 Teaser Puzzle to try your hand at our mathematical challenges!

Why should my school participate?

In addition to being a lot of fun, MaPP has designed its events to fit the Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice:

Successful players will…

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

How do I choose teams?

Up to 8 high school students (9th through 12th grade) may form a team.  Each school may sponsor up to two teams.  At least 7-8 students on a team is recommended.  Each team requires at least one teacher or chaperone on site, and the sponsoring teacher must register their school in advance.  Students with experience solving mathematical puzzles will have an advantage in competition, but this team-based event can be enjoyed by most students regardless of background.

What do we need to bring? What are we allowed to use during the competition?

Lunch will be provided, but you may wish to bring your own snacks and drinks for your team(s) to munch on while puzzling. Teams will be provided small notebooks and pens, but you may bring your own office supplies if you wish. Any allowed technology will be provided (students may have cell phones on hand but cannot use them for the competition). Also, schools which bring a correctly solved copy of the teaser puzzle will earn a bonus head-start for their teams during the opening challenge!

What kinds of puzzles are these? How should we practice?

Students will have fun regardless of their previous experience with math puzzles. That said, you should at least try your hand at the HSC16 teaser puzzle for the bonus it gives schools which can solve it. If you want more puzzles, Dr. Steven Clontz has published a booklet of puzzles he wrote for the Lamar Mathematical Puzzle Challenge online here:https://github.com/MaPPmath/lamp-2015/raw/master/booklet.pdf

How do I register?

Please contact Dr. James Hammer <jmhammer@cedarcrest.edu> by Friday April 1, 2017 to register.


The event will be held on Friday, April 28, 2017.

  • 9am: Volunteer checkin
  • 10am: Team registration
  • 10:15am: Orientation
  • 10:30am: Opening Puzzle
  • 11am-2:30pm: Main Puzzles
  • 12noon: Lunch (in headquarters)
  • 2:30pm: Closing and Awards
  • 3pm: Dismissal

I’m a Cedar Crest College student/faculty member who wants to volunteer. Where can I sign up?

Volunteer registration is here: http://goo.gl/forms/CnNFFyL8pf Thanks for your support!