Award-winning ‘Mathster’ Makes Math Matter

Award-winning ‘Mathster’ Makes Math Matter

In an age where children are used to watching TV and movies and playing video games, math teacher Tom Vakkas ’98 subtracts the textbooks and worksheets and adds in videos and toys.

Tom, a fourth-grade math teacher at Parker Elementary School in Cortland, has used conventional, paper-based methods during his 13-year career. “Kids get it, but not all kids,” he said. Now, starring as “Mathster Vakkas” in his homemade videos, he tries to get students to solve problems using real-life situations.