Question Corner and Discussion Area
For a couple years now, I have been trying to start a math club at our school. . . no luck. Perhaps a virtual club is the way to go? Some people might be thinking Usenet, but it is dying away because of the web. So there it is. . . lonely math guy. . . Does anyone have thoughts on how to stimulate some interest at my school or on how to start a virtual club?From Philip Spencer, University of Toronto on September 20, 1996:
By the way, S.O.L.E. is an alternative school in Toronto with an excellent and dedicated staff who for the most part, unfortunately, are not interested in math. We have a great book club though. . . sigh. . . somehow it isn't enough.
An excellent question, and certainly if there's anything we can do here on the Mathematics Network to provide interest or help you start a virtual club, we'd be happy to do it.
Does anybody have any good thoughts or suggestions on how to stimulate interest in this kind of a situation?
From Alvin Mok, Richmond Hill High School on September 29, 1997:
I know exactly how you feel. I am trying to start a math club in my school. I even have my Math Department head helping me! But no luck. There is one thing you could do: try starting a math HELP club, that could attract a lot of people.
From Blanche Reyna on October 4, 1997:
I once taught at a junior high, about 4 years ago. I was successful at starting a math club and a Spanish club (at two schools). First of all, "math club" usually translates into "nerd" club; unfortunate, but true. So what I did was open both clubs to all students regardless of their GPA. Next I enticed students with goodies (e.g., picnics, movies). Immediately I had about 20 students. Afterwards, everyone wanted to join.
Later after the students realize that a "math club" is not a "nerd" club, we start playing chess, checkers, and slowly integrated math activities (e.g., district contests). The Spanish Club also started out the same way, I left the second year, but my principal informed me that the club was up and running 4 years later.
During the same year that I formed the Spanish Club, I approached the students with ideas of helping elders in the community, taking trips to San Antonio--multicultural activities--Mexican Cooking. It has been a great success.
The key to starting a club: entice students with something (you know, like the commercials on TV, like businesses do to get you into the door); remember teaching is a business, and students are our clients. Do not bombard students with academics at the beginning; do it slowly. It sure did work for me, and for both the math and Spanish Club. I hope I have been of help.
From Joseph, Hyde Park High School on January 24, 1998: Hi. I am the president of my school's math club but I really don't know what to do first. I really want this to be fun for the other students but I don't know where to begin.
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