**The SNAP Approach and "Inquiry-Based Learning"**

The SNAP approach to problem solving encourages students to develop the solution on their own rather than following a set template. It is clearly an "inquiry-based learning" strategy, but the intent and scope is limited. We do not advocate that all mathematics be taught this way, but we believe it can become an invaluable part of the problem-solving component of the math curriculum.

In preparing for the math fair, the student's activity is focussed on a specific problem. The purpose is to have the student involved in problem solving in a meaningful way. That alone is sufficient. The problem may encompass only a very narrow part of mathematics, it need not reveal a broad concept or fundamental mathematical principle.

During the problem solving phase in preparing for the math fair, there will be times when the teacher helps the student. However, after the student has solved the problem, there is a significant role reversal: at the math fair itself, the students become the teachers, and they help passers-by with the problem.

Although each student in the math fair is primarily interested in a single problem, experience suggests that success at the math fair translates into success in the rest of the math curriculum. Teachers have reported that participation in a math fair reverses a negative attitude and starts the student on a successful road. In some cases, the reversal is dramatic.

In preparing for the math fair, the student's activity is focussed on a specific problem. The purpose is to have the student involved in problem solving in a meaningful way. That alone is sufficient. The problem may encompass only a very narrow part of mathematics, it need not reveal a broad concept or fundamental mathematical principle.

During the problem solving phase in preparing for the math fair, there will be times when the teacher helps the student. However, after the student has solved the problem, there is a significant role reversal: at the math fair itself, the students become the teachers, and they help passers-by with the problem.

Although each student in the math fair is primarily interested in a single problem, experience suggests that success at the math fair translates into success in the rest of the math curriculum. Teachers have reported that participation in a math fair reverses a negative attitude and starts the student on a successful road. In some cases, the reversal is dramatic.