Feature Story | 13-Feb-2024

Touchdown! Fantasy football scores big in math class

Playing Fantasy Sports Math League improves middle school students’ math skills and confidence

Dfusion (United States)

The Challenge

Understanding mathematics is a fundamental skill crucial to daily life. Students who struggle with basic math concepts early-on are less likely to meet grade-level expectations. Limited math skills can also negatively impact future employment and perpetuate lifelong struggles. Findings from the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show an alarming decline in average math scores (an average drop of 9 points in math among 13-year-olds) between 2019-20 and 2022-23 school years. 

An Innovative Strategy

As national trends document the decline in middle school math scores, new strategies and innovations are needed to reverse this downward trend. With a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, (contract #91990023C0025) researchers at dfusion Inc. have developed Fantasy Sports Math League (FSML), a digital standards-based math game offering a fun and engaging environment to build math knowledge.    

FSML uses real-life National Football League (NFL) player statistics to engage students in real-world math. Students create and manage their own fantasy football team, competing   to be the highest scoring team and the most accurate mathematician. FSML is a math supplement that is interactive, comprehensive, and aligned with educational standards. Middle school students practice and reinforce math skills in a collaborative and competitive learning environment. 

Does it work?  

Pilot study findings showed that using Fantasy Sports Math League not only improved math skills in middle school students (n=97), but also decreased their math anxiety. Teachers report that using FSML in their classes supports instruction, is easy to use, and not only engages students but also helps improve social dynamics in the classroom. Students reported enjoying learning math through playing FSML and liked that the game uses real-life NFL players and current game statistics.

To learn more

To see a short video on FSML, visit:  https://youtu.be/rioMQFs6YEE?si=e5nOiclMe6iVB3N0

Fantasy Sports Math League is now available in beta for purchase. dfusion is seeking additional funding to further develop Fantasy Sports Math League, expanding the product to include other fantasy sports such as soccer and basketball. For more information, reach out to Mia Barrett at mia.barrett@dfusioninc.com.

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