Mathematical Puzzle Program

Western Carolina University

Saturday, February 8, 2020

What is the MaPP Challenge?

The Mathematical Puzzle Program (MaPP) Challenge is a team-based mathematical puzzle competition for high school students held at multiple college campuses across the country. Unlike most math competitions, MaPP Challenge doesn’t require any knowledge beyond basic algebra and rewards players’ problem-solving ability over their previous mathematical background. The MaPP Challenge will be held on Saturday, February 8 at Western Carolina University, co-hosted by Western Carolina University and UNCA. Check-in begins at 10am and the game will last until around 3pm (lunch is provided). The cost is $10 per student which includes a full day of puzzle fun, lunch, t-shirt, and awards.


The event will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2020

  • 9:30am: Volunteer check-in
  • 10am-10:30am: Team registration
  • 10:30am-10:45am: Orientation
  • 10:45am-2:45pm: Puzzles (Lunch Provided in Classrooms)
  • 3:00pm-3:30pm: Closing and Awards


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 campus to track down clues and uncover new puzzles to solve.

Teaser Puzzle

Download and solve the 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.

Want More Information?

See our FAQ page or contact Dr. Andrew Penland,