Score Mountain (commonly SCORE! Mountain Challenge), conceived of in 1993 by Ingrid Stabb, a loyalty marketing professional in Palo Alto, California, is utilized to visualize and track a goal based on goal-setting theory. It encapsulates a long-term "goal program that rewards completion, helping students to set and pursue academic goals: students attain bronze, silver, gold, and even 'top of the mountain' goals when they complete a certain number of sessions, advancing them up a wooden mountain to the summit." Wooden sculptures of SCORE! Mountain can be found in SCORE! Educational Centers around the United States and Israel. SCORE! Mountain Challenge is also the brand name of a K-12 series of educational workbooks.
The first SCORE! Mountain was created on paper in 1993 for a first grade boy who was struggling to learn to read. The boy could fill in his progress with a felt marker on a picture depicting him riding a bicycle up and over the mountain. Cycling up the mountain represented learning phonetics and how to sound out words. Reaching the pinnacle represented reading his very first paragraph by himself, whereas the rest of the path “would be all down hill from there” as he prepared for second grade reading. The boy enjoyed using the mountain as a motivational metaphor and started reading paragraphs by himself in no time.
The loyalty marketing professional who created the mountain soon thereafter commissioned a large wall version designed in plastics by a local artist, and installed it in Menlo Park, California in a SCORE! Educational Center. There, students K-10 set goals in reading, mathematics, spelling, language arts, science, keyboarding, or writing, then tracked their progress with felt markers on paper versions of the mountain. When the students attained their goals, they would receive bronze, silver, and gold award ribbons, and their names were placed on SCORE! Mountain.
The next iteration was a modern wooden sculpture that represented a mountain, commissioned by the founder of SCORE! Educational Centers. Students could affix moving game pieces with their names along the mountain. Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of the Washington Post Company, later built a SCORE! Mountain sculpture in each of its centers. According to the company website, in 2008 there were 165 learning centers serving 82,000 children per year.
In May 2007, Kaplan Publishing released a brand extension of SCORE! Mountain with The SCORE! Mountain Challenge Workbook Series, a line of educational books for students grades K-6. The series includes 12 workbooks and dynamic content on the Internet that adheres to standards set forth by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Teachers of English.
SCORE! Mountain also served as a loyalty program with structured marketing efforts that rewarded students, and therefore encouraged repeat visits to learning centers— behavior which was as a benefit to SCORE! Educational Centers profit model. The business model for SCORE! Educational Centers was documented in Harvard Business School Case Studies in 1999 and 2000.
References and sources
- Sherwood, Emily, Ph.D. "Helping Students Climb the Learning Curve: From Base Camp to Summit with Kaplan’s Tutoring Company, SCORE!" Education Update Online, May 2007. http://www.educationupdate.com/archives/2007/MAY/html/spec-helpingstudents.html
- Wyatt, Edward, "A Learning Center Thrives, and Profits, in a Poor Locale" The New York Times, December 22, 1999. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04E7D71639F931A15751C1A96F958260
- Adler, Christine, "New Workbook Series Aims at Avoiding the Academic 'Summer Slide'" NYMetroParents, October 13, 2007. http://www.nymetroparents.com/newarticle.cfm?colid=8868
- : Kaplan Publishing description of SCORE! Mountain Challenge Workbook Series