Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Garland Reporter
Rene Aguilar, a Garland fourth-grader, won a $5,000 college scholarship after placing second in the DutheMath UGames Final.
Playing video games at school has paid off for a Garland fourth-grader.
Rene Aguilar has won a $5,000 college scholarship after placing second in the DU the Math UGames Final.
The Garland Independent School District embraces video games as a way to teach math. For the past year, Rene and his classmates at Bullock Elementary have played a DimensionU math game to make the subject more fun.
"Play this game, because you're going to get smart and be smart," he said.
The object of DU the Math is to correctly answer math questions in a virtual meltdown world and try not to get gooped or chased in the process.
"I knew my kids would love it," Bullock Elementary teacher Stacy McGough said. "I saw their math scores shoot up from playing it because it reinforced things I taught in the classroom."
More than 900 schools played in DU the Math UGames Tournament for five weeks. Rene was the youngest person at the final in New York.
"I was really really excited," he said. "I didn't know I could be this far."
But McGough said she never doubted that he could make it big.
"I knew those middle school and high school kids didn't have anything on him," she said. "He's a motivated kid. He's a competitive kid. He wants to succeed."
Rene has already started practicing for next year.
"Maybe with more practice, I can beat him again," he said.