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Math Club help

  1. Apr 6, 2005 #1
    Math Club help!!

    The math club at my school essentially has ZERO enthusiasm for math. in fact, there IS no math being done in math club (oh the irony!!). I've been trying to
    get some math problems of the week going, but no one seems to care except for one or two genuine math happy people like me. Does anyone have any suggestions for activities for a highschool math club in need?

    thank you!

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2005 #2
    Try doing some hands-on stuff, like theorizing about and building a parabolic solar furnace or analyzing various chess puzzles and tours. Lots of fun to be had there with sprinkles of graph theory.
  4. Apr 7, 2005 #3
    Highschool math club... ugh. You must be at a bigger high school than I was, or else you're just lucky that you have one at all.

    Anyways, graph and number theory are always fun. If people aren't interested in doing problems during the meetings, you could get someone to explain a certain interesting problem each time or something (you could take a look at some interesting unsolved problems, even). Here are a couple of fun problems to get you started (which you may or may not already be familiar with):

    http://supernet.som.umass.edu/facts/kbridge.html [Broken]


    the second one actually has several problems. The classic one is the standard monkey and coconut problem which they present a couple of paragraphs in, but as I said there are a few others that might be fun :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  5. Apr 7, 2005 #4


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    I know essentially no math, but I always like looking at stuff about tiling and topography. It's probably a lot more fun if you actually know how to do it. :redface:
  6. Apr 7, 2005 #5
    Also, your local library may have books by Martin Gardner, which are collections of recreational mathematics articles he wrote for Scientific American. You can get some stimulating ideas from these as well.
  7. Apr 7, 2005 #6


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    My recommendation:


    Who knows? Maybe some of you are the next Poincaré or Riemann.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  8. Apr 7, 2005 #7


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    When it comes to high school, they are only doing it for extra-curricular garbage, so its not surprising they are doing nothing.

    I love it when people think they're good at math, but then fail. :)

    Note: Our university can't even start one. We had our first meeting, and they were more concerned about showing the school math majors are cool too. I didn't care much about that, so I lost interest and it seems like everyone else did too.

    I would love to start a club that involves work in a special area in mathematics. Since I love Number Theory, I would love to do that, but I wouldn't mind Analysis or Algebra. Unfortunately most people think learning mathematics, that isn't easy, on your own time as silly and wasteful. I am going through a text on Basic Analysis, but I haven't had much time to it. I did go through plenty, and I am almost done. It's just that I am also learning Java on my own time too, and I also have a job. I should be done Analysis within a month or so, and I will continue on in the next level of Analysis, which I'm not quite sure what that is yet.

    I would rather do Spivak - Calculus, but I rather do it with others, and have the whole discussion thing. Again, everyone thinks this is stupid.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2005
  9. Apr 7, 2005 #8
    i had a similar problem with my math team in highschool. I was captain, and i was always trying to make things interesting, unfortunately, my efforts were mostly futile. We ended up playing poker a lot with candy, and poker has a lot of math involved. Actually, we played lots of card games, so you can try that, maybe find some useful math stuff and keep it on the table for reference. Really, lame as it sounds, i think the candy is what actually got people interested. I started an astronomy club too, and i'm pretty sure the only reason we had so many members is because we'd lose things to talk about, so i'd drive everyone to the diner for french fries.
  10. Apr 7, 2005 #9


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    So you're one of the nerds who easily gets used?
  11. Apr 7, 2005 #10
    hrm... well, i didn't buy the candy or french fries... but the way i figure, at least i was president/captain of two successful clubs at school. Sides, i like poker, candy and french fries too! all i had to do was drive, everyone else paid.
  12. Apr 7, 2005 #11


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    Just how many people can you fit on that Harley, anyhow? Was a really small club, or should we be calling the Guinness folks? :biggrin:
  13. Apr 7, 2005 #12
    I drove my car. which seats 6, (plus a few more depenind on the size of the people and the space in my trunk :tongue2: ) I wouldn't let anyone near my harley!!
  14. Apr 7, 2005 #13


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    Motorcycles. :yuck:

    Luxury cars. :biggrin:

    Lotus Elise. :!!)
  15. Apr 7, 2005 #14


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    What? No roof rack?
  16. Apr 7, 2005 #15
    I suggest that you vary the routine (agenda ?) everyday. One day, you could watch some sections of movies about math and then have a discussion. Another day you can play card games that involve math reasoning. Devote the next day to puzzles (trying the 4-color theorem?). After that assign each member to find out some unsolved number theory problems and present it to the group. Invite Math, Physics, Chemistry, Computer etc. teachers to talk about neat things like fractals and cryptography codes.
  17. Apr 7, 2005 #16
    Face it, the only reason most of them are there is to make their college applications look nicer. They don't care. They've never cared. And they never will care. Nothing you can do will change that.
  18. Apr 7, 2005 #17
    thats a bit harsh. the biggest reason they're there is the college app thing... its no the only reason. there are plenty of things that look nice to colleges, they chose a math club for some reason...

    Anyways, i was just remembering how much fun we had when we decided to have a bake-sale for the astro club. We were raising money to go to the local planetarium. Everyone had a lot of fun making posters and cookies and stuff, and it was fun to hang out and sell stuff. Its only as much fun as you make it, but we really enjoyed it. Funny thing is, when it came time to spend the money on our trip to the planetarium... no one wanted to go... heh. But whatever, those of us who went liked it.

    I don't know what sort of thing you'd need to raise money for for a math club... but i'm sure you can think of something. Money is one of those things people get excited about... and that involves math too. Come up with a goal, have the club run through calculations to figure out like the best way of making the money, and then follow it through. It can be fun, and then you can buy t shirts or a new chalk board, or something eh?
  19. Apr 7, 2005 #18


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    Face it! It's all about college applications.

    The ones who truly love math don't attend math clubs. There at home in the basement learning math, and not playing cards while claiming it involves math.

    Playing Cards = Mathematics... my ass.
  20. Apr 7, 2005 #19


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    Hmm...when I was in high school, we didn't exactly have a math club, we had a math league. Kids joined to compete against other schools. It gave it some sort of purpose, and their meetings were intended to prep for the competitions.

    I joined a Latin club in high school, but once the teacher advisor killed the toga party idea, enthusiasm dropped quite a bit. :rolleyes:

    Other than that, maybe you could start a tutoring program? In a large school, there are always some kids who need tutoring and really would like the help, but can't afford it. If everyone in the club takes turns, you could set up one day a week when tutors will be available after school for anyone who needs help, and you can each just be there one day a month (not too much to ask). Since it's true most of them are there doing it for their college applications, sell them on it that way...it looks really good on your application to list math tutoring.
  21. Apr 7, 2005 #20
    Thank you all so very much!! I should have done this long ago.

    My school has an IB program, and where there is an IB program, there are really nerdy people (which isn't bad). As a result, we have one of the best science olympiad teams(we've been to nationals for 7 consecutive years in a row.), mathletes(won 5 years in a row) and a school wide math league where we compete with other highschools. In particular, my school has been winning the math league every year, except for last year, and it seems like this year too (by the same school). SO, to keep it from happening again, I wanted to start a kind of study/tutoring program where we all come together to study and prepare for the competitions.

    The websites everyone suggested are great!! I'll bring them up on our next meeting.

    I agree with the comments that people join math club so it looks nice on their college apps. But, some people are in it genuinely because they love math.

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