Two Evening Street Elementary School students proved even fractions could be fun by creating Mathopoly, a prize-winning board game that won recognition in a national contest.

Two Evening Street Elementary School students proved even fractions could be fun by creating Mathopoly, a prize-winning board game that won recognition in a national contest.

Fifth-graders Ruby Culp and Bo Brofford decided to collaborate on the game as they were finishing fourth grade last school year, when teacher Bev Maxton told them about the "Gameathon" sponsored by the MIND Research Institute.

The girls worked on the game all summer with Ruby's father, Thomas, a former math teacher, then learned in mid-September that MIND Research had selected it as one of the winning games.

"I'm so proud of them that they would take this on and decide to work on it over the summer," Principal Mary Rykowski said. "We really try to stretch all of our children into many different creative avenues and help them to think outside the box."

She said the school uses the MIND Research program ST Math, based on the brain's "spatial-temporal reasoning." It reinforces math skills through visual concepts, online games and puzzles.

Ruby said she used to think math was "really hard" but her father worked with her after school and she changed her mind.

"Working with my dad helped me to get a better understanding of math," she said. "If someone told me math was hard for them, I would probably offer to help them."

She enjoyed working with her friend, Bo, in developing the game.

"It was fun to see all the colors together on one board," she said. "Our game is really colorful and it was fun making individual small games within the big game."

Mr. Culp said he helped the girls with the major concepts of making a board game and a video, then let the girls run with it.

"The girls kept practicing playing the game and we kept reshooting the scenes on the video," he said. "I was shocked when I got the email that they were in the top five overall in the nation. I am super-proud of them."

The video can be seen above or in the "Gameathon Hall of Fame" on the MIND Research Institute website.

The game portrays the adventures of Multiplication Molly, Division Dan, Subtraction Sally and Addition Alvin. The four friends get lost on a hike and the players have to help them get back home by solving three mini-math games within the larger game.

Bo said she wanted to make a board game "because we wanted something all ages could understand that would be easy to play."

"It was fun designing the game and making it," she said. "I was really excited and happy that we got into the top five."

She said teachers such as Maxton helped her to like math.

"She had us play math games she made up," Bo said. "I would tell someone who doesn't like math to not be afraid of it, that they might like it. That's why we made the game -- to make math more fun for people."

Ruby and her sister, Lila, a third-grader at Evening Street, who is also featured in the video, went to the math fair sponsored by MIND Research on Sept. 26 in Chicago, accompanied by their father and mother, Lisa. The fair featured a display of all five videos selected for the 2015 Gameathon Hall of Fame.

"My sister and I went through a lot of math stations where we could walk around and check out 3D printers and logic stations, with fun math and logic problems to solve," Ruby said.