The Middle School Math Club has retained its loyal following this school year as more than 25 students gear up for the regional MathCounts virtual competition in February 2021. The group meets every Wednesday to celebrate math, learn more about the math they study in class, and ready themselves for the MathCounts competition.
“Math Club is a great way to offer young mathematicians more challenges, different ways to approach math problems, and an opportunity to dig deeper mathematically,” Middle School Math Teacher and Math Club Coordinator Ann von Ofenheim said. “Members are encouraged to think differently, build on what they know, and incorporate new and innovative ways of approaching problem-solving.”
Each meeting begins with a warm-up problem that requires students to be thoughtful and creative. After working through the problem, members share the methods they used for solving.
“There are often a variety of ways to approach and solve the problem so it is intriguing to hear members' input,” von Ofenheim said.
Students then break out into teams of four or five to work on a problem set from the MathCounts series. The meeting wraps up with members returning to the group meeting to go over solutions and ask questions, and notable solutions are demonstrated as a conclusion to each meeting.
“It’s fun to see how the students apply what they are learning in class to what they are tackling in Math Club,” von Ofenheim said. “The discussions between the students, across grade levels, as they collaborate and support each other is also rewarding.”
Made up of sixth, seventh, and eighth-graders, the mathletes have placed fourth in the region in the last two MathCounts tournaments in 2019 and 2020. New members are always welcome and meetings are weekly on Wednesdays from 2:10 to 3:10 p.m.