In its inaugural year, Cooley Middle School’s Math Club achieved Gold Level status. This is the highest honor from the National Math Club, which is awarded to clubs that complete a challenging collaborative project.
Elizabeth Ruiz, who teaches math at Cooley and is the advisor for the club, said she was very proud of the team.
“We’ve been talking about a math team for a long time,” said Ruiz. She added that with the help of a fellow teacher, Allyson Overacker, they began the club at the beginning of the year when classes were still online.
After classes returned to in-person, the club had eight students.
This year, the Math Club participated in a video competition to achieve Gold Level status. The students were divided into two teams, and each picked a real-world problem and submitted a video of them solving the problem to judges.
“One of the teams called themselves ‘The Equation-ators,’” said Ruiz. The team wanted to solve how many calories were in ice cream, and Ruiz had the perfect idea.
“I already had a partnership with Swirl It,” said Ruiz. “They were so nice and let us come in on a Saturday and the students filmed part of their video in the store.”
The students filled up their cups with ice cream and sat at a table in the store, talking through the problem they wanted to solve.
Besides the competition, Ruiz said she really wants to make students excited about math and solve problems with real world applications.
“When we weren’t making the videos, we were doing logic and fun real world math problems,” said Ruiz.
After receiving the Gold Level status, Ruiz is excited for the club’s future.
“I would like to see the team do the video competitions again,” said Ruiz. “Now that they have a year of experience under their belt and kind of know what to expect, I would love to see the students go further.”