Local resident launches math app for kids

By Andrea Douglas – 

West Wellington resident and math whiz Evelyn Eldridge has created a rather fishy math app.

For the past five months, Evelyn has devoted herself to creating, designing and coding her app – called Carl Can Divide – on a full-time basis. And she hopes her hard work will pay off in more ways than one.

“I wanted to help kids find an entertaining way to practice how to multiply and divide,” she explains. “I would love to see this app become an everyday tool on a really big scale.”

 Evelyn Eldridge testing her math app with students at Churchill P.S. Photo by Andrea Douglas
Evelyn Eldridge testing her math app with students at Churchill P.S. Photo by Andrea Douglas

Intended for kids ages 10 – 14, Carl made his inaugural visit to Heather Earl’s classroom at Churchill P.S. earlier this year for a test run. Evelyn dropped in recently to find a group of eager kids ready to ask questions and give her feedback regarding what they would like to see added to the game.

Evelyn, a mother of two teens and a math graduate from the University of Waterloo, took the opportunity of a rapt audience to offer up a little background.

She’s become a great math resource for many of her friends and neighbours who are anxious to find a really good math tutor. But with only so much time to spend and such a big need to fill, Evelyn thought about coming up with something that could reach a much broader audience.

“Memorization of times tables is boring and tedious and in this age of constant stimulus for kids combined with busy parents, it just gets bypassed,” explains Evelyn. “Kids DO understand how to multiply, they just don’t have instant recall of the number facts and not having this hinders their progress in high school math.”

Carl is a fish, a smart fish of course, who loves to win prizes by multiplying and dividing. Players choose a divisor to practice, for example, divide by 5. Numbers float by and players must swipe any numbers that divide evenly by 5. The numbers get faster and faster as a player moves on and if too many mistakes are made, the game will end. More importantly, there is feedback after each game that tracks the player’s mistakes and progress. And for parents and teachers, there is also a one page email report which summarizes success, areas of weakness and amount of time played.

Why Carl? And why is he a fish?

“Because a fish is basically like a circle,” Evelyn told the students. “I used my daughter’s old cartoon book to learn to draw him. And he just looked like a Carl!”

Heather reminded the students how important it is for them to master times tables. She also told them how Evelyn persevered while creating this game and that hard work pays off – in school, in life, and while learning how to divide.

The app launched in the iTunes store on February 28 and can be purchased for $1.99 at itunes.apple.com.


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