ELMACON was started in 1999 and is organized by PIMS under the guidance of Dr. Cary Chien (formerly of David Thompson Secondary School), Joshua Keshet (who also runs Math Challenges), Klaus Hoechsmann (the PIMS Education Facilitator), as well as volunteers from UBC, SFU and the Lower Mainland. ELMACON gives students from grades 5 to 7 a chance to experience mathematics as an exciting sport.
The contest is modelled after the successful MathCounts competitions (which are also supported by PIMS), but is aimed at younger students.
Students from grades 5, 6, and 7 compete in separate divisions. Each division is comprised of three rounds Sprint, Target (both written) and Countdown (a verbal one-on-one competition). The top 25 participants in each grade are acknowledged and the top ten participants from each grade advance to the CountDown Round (oral contest).