What's the Big Idea Game Show: Host Shawn Bernier | National Math Festival

What's the Big Idea Game Show: Host Shawn Bernier

This post features behind-the-scenes content about the 2021 NMF Live Performance Series event "What's the Big Idea? A Game Show Featuring Students and Mathematicians", created and hosted by The Young People's Project.

The MC of the NMF Live Game Show was Shawn Bernier, a student at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts studying business and economics and minoring in computer science.

Here is his introduction to the Game Show:

2021 National Math Festival: Shawn Bernier's Math Challenge Introduction from MSRI / National Math Festival.


This program is the creation of university, high school, and middle school students over about four months.

Here Shawn explains a bit of the background:

“Welcome, my name is Shawn Bernier and I’m the MC for today’s What’s the Big Idea math challenge. Middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students from the Young People’s Project started this math challenge journey in the beginning of October of 2020. The main frame of this challenge is to have mathematicians presenting big ideas in mathematics in what we like to call ‘People Talk.’

“This challenge will demonstrate their passion for math in front of people of all ages and begin to shatter some of the perceptions of math being confusing and hard. We also hope this challenge calls attention to culturally responsive, grounding, and sustaining approaches to engage young people with mathematics.

“In the backdrop of our planning, we were all in a global pandemic, and we as students experienced the negative effects that it had on school and more focused our math classes.”


The Young People's Project (YPP) brings together middle school students and high school mentors to celebrate, encourage, and motivate mathematical learning. Learn more at typp.org.