By Clara Moffitt
“Math is fun.” Though it sounds like a phrase you might sniffle out through muffled tears at 12:38 a.m. the morning of your calculus exam to convince yourself that you understand trigonometric functions, several students at Tempe Prep have shown that they truly believe that math is fun. I mean, what about math isn’t fun? You can crack jokes, work with friends, eat snacks, and have a little bit of friendly competition. That is, if you are in Math Club.
Started by Junior Annie Meacham, the Tempe Prep Math Club, with 18 members, has already been a smashing success in its inaugural year. Having multiple competitions under their belts, the Math Club is working on increasing their numbers and computing numbers.
Though the majority of these math competitions occur online or on paper at school, the club did get to travel to Chandler-Gilbert Community College to compete in a day-long event. These “mathletes” participated in an individual exam, a team project, and fun activities including a scavenger hunt and ultimate award ceremony.
The club’s faculty advisor, Dr. Wallington, acknowledges the difficulty of the competition. However, she has high hopes for the team’s development.
One highlight of the competition was freshman Kinglee Tham who won fourth place in the Geometry/Algebra II division and took home a beautiful certificate to show for it.
Club leader Annie says that “it was really nice to have the day to do math!” It’s true, math really can be fun. So what is it about math that makes it so enjoyable? Annie admires how logical math is. Unlike other subjects, math has an objective right answer that can be logically found and proven. Annie says, “the fact that it makes sense makes it an interesting subject to learn.”
It is this appreciation that led Annie to start the Math Club. After a summer spent at the Joaquin Bustoz Math-Science Honors Program at Arizona State University, Annie began to “love math more” and she enjoyed doing “math with other people who also love math.” So, she decided to create a space at Tempe Prep for math lovers to enjoy the subject in the company of other “mathletes.”
The Math Club has big goals for the future. In addition to expanding the club and working more to prepare for competitions, Dr. Wallington has announced plans to establish a chapter of Mu Alpha Theta, an honor society for math, and hopes to encourage more students to join that society to gain scholarship opportunities and future recognition. Annie’s goals are to increase the club’s status on campus, destigmatize math as a subject and “have more fun!”
In addition to being a great chance to have fun doing math, Math Club teaches members valuable skills. After a lot of hours meeting together and solving math problems, “we know how to approach these problems and look at them differently.” She even points out the application to studying for the SAT as the club can be a great opportunity to brush up on forgotten math skills. She concludes by saying that the club will convince you that “math really is fun!”
Article by Clara Moffitt, editor in chief and a student staff writer for De Equitibus, Tempe Preparatory Academy’s student newspaper.
About Tempe Prep: Tempe Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free public charter school in Tempe for students in grades 6-12 that provides a nationally acclaimed liberal arts education based on the Great Books of Western Civilization with an exceptional math, science, foreign language, humanities, and fine arts curriculum. Tempe Prep has been recognized by the Arizona Board of Regents as having the highest percentage of college graduates in the state and has been named the #1 high school in Arizona by Newsweek (America’s Top High Schools 2016). For more information about enrolling at Tempe Prep, visit the school’s website at tempeprep.org.