High School Math Club

  • #1
I'm in my Senior Year, and our school is very Athletic, provinical/national champions in practically everything. We don't have any academic clubs whatsoever. I have been planning to start a math club since 10th grade with my Math Teacher.

We decided we better do it this year...since next year I will be at Uni.

Anyways. I made up like 35 "invitations" - explaining what it was, etc. We sent them to the homes of the top students.

Yesterday was the meeting.
1 kid showed up.

I even baked cookies and cupcakes.
1 kid showed up.

How can i make this more lucrative to kids? I'm not the typical "mathlete" type kid, so i think that they may be intimidated by me. I'm more a free spirit/hippie/loner type, and I think that maybe they don't want to associate with me.

Did ya'll belong to a math club? How did you get lured in? I even sent the "invitations" to the homes to try to have parental force be a determining factor. What else can I do?

Answers and Replies

  • #2
You might try to get some faculty sponsorship and stick a lot of fliers to the walls.
  • #3
But they still won't come.

What activites would be good to get kids in?
  • #4
Awwwwe. I feel sorry for yaz. I'd come if I went to your school!

I don't have a math club at my school, and have never been in one, but if you want to get more people to come, you'll probably need to establish an initial user base. Go to some other related clubs, if such exist, like the Chess Club for example. See if you can gain support from groups as a whole, not merely individuals, to help spread interest and raise awareness.

Don't get frustrated. Don't feel hopeless. And don't give up! It'll look good on a University transcript, and you might learn a lot!
  • #5
Yeah that's the thing, is our school is really strictly sport focused. I mean our kids do fine on standard tests and whatnot, but sports is the main focus.

I mean my math teacher couldn't even start math club with me until football was finished, which involved Provinicial (like state) Championships.

We don't have a chess club.

And the one kid that came, I think he was really nervous around me, maybe because I'm a girl and because I am not "typical mathelete".

What specific activities would be good for a math club?
  • #6
Oh, you're a girl? Haha, that could be another reason. In most cases, I'd expect a guy to be a less intimidating leader for a math club than a girl. I don't mean that in a sexist way at all. But as you said, the one kid who showed up was probably pretty nervous.

Funny how you would expect it to be the exact opposite for almost any other club. :wink:

For activities, you could dig up old Mathematics contests from previous competitions. For example, the Pascal/Casey/Fermat and Euclid contests, all available for download on the University Of Waterloo Website. You could complete these competitions, and take up the questions together. Other things you could do could be brain teasers from www.braingle.com, or some more advanced math that kids might want to know for later.

Since this wouldn't necessarily help gather support for the club, I don't know what other options you have to consider. Have you tried speaking personally with some of the top math students?
  • #7
Hey Sane,

thanks for the input :)
these are all ideas I have. I made up a freaking 2.5 inch binder full of activites like the U Waterloo tests. Did you take those last year? I took Fermat and got the whole certificate thing, but not nationally ranked...oh well, I think like top 25% or 10% in Country.

Where are you from?
  • #8
Okay, but also remember to try the brain teasers! Some of them can be fun and challenging.

I've taken the Pascal and the Casey so far, both of which I've got a certificate for. But I'm not a top math student, because I don't spend as much of my free time studying it.

I'm from Ottawa.
  • #9

thanks! I used to be a "top student" - 98%, but I seriously stopped doing my homework this year for pure math 30. Teachers at my school basically say everyday that we will never use this course ever again, and they say that it is hard and frustrating - these are teachers with masters and sometimes even PhD's! So i think that kids get discouraged. I still pulled off a 92 with mininmal homework though, so I am not complaining...

Are you in 11th grade right now?

Does your school have a math club?
  • #10
don't send invitations home to top students. Get whoever wants to be involved, involved. Put up fliers inviting anyone who wants to try it out to come, and you'll get a much larger turnout. Once more people start going, it'll be seen as more legitimate and more people will be interested
  • #11
Okay, but I already sent the invitations a while ago...

Why would you raise caution to that idea?
  • #12
Are you in 11th grade right now?

Well... technically I'm grade 11. But 5 of my courses are grade 12, and one of them is a University Calculus course. So, I'm more into Math than an average grade 11, I guess. Teehee. :shy:

Does your school have a math club?

  • #13
Ohhhh wow, Sane is a smarty pants :) hehe.

I wish a cool kid like you could be in my math club that I've been planning for 2 years. lol.

Im going to pm you with my msn :)
  • #14
Hello Jacinda! Don't be downhearted; what you've done by mailing the candidates at home is in effect a cold mailshot. Think about it, what do most people do with unsolicited approaches when we all get letters at home advertising things we might be interested in? Bin them! [Edit:Just saw Office Shredder's comment & agree]

I'm vaguely involved with marketing, and the typical response for such mailshots is less than 3%, so good effort by that guy who did turn up. I hope he enjoyed the cakes!:smile:

I speak from experience having failed to enthuse my contemporaries back in my school days (42-year old male Maths grad speaking here).

I'm afraid it looks like you're up against it at the moment.:frown: Maybe you could sound any prospects out one by one to see whether or not the time is right?

Or perhaps the climate you describe does not encourage mass sign-up to a new maths club where you are. However, you can look forward to getting things going at university with no shortage of like-minded enthusiasts.:smile:


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