By Kay Somers, Moravian College
Question: How do you get students to participate in activities outside of the classroom?
Answer: Create lively, informative, and fun activities like those discussed at the special presentation ’Math Club in a Boxâ? at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Washington DC.
Emma Previato, Boston University, described the challenges of offering one-day symposia, with themes such as tessellations, math and architecture, and soap bubbles, for students. An evening workshop about financial matters that affect college students, titled ’Money Talks!â?, was offered by students in the Mathematics and Investment Clubs at Moravian College. Kevin Hartshorn described his role in helping students present information about credit cards, savings accounts, student loans, and other basic money matters to a student audience. Roland Minton, Dave Taylor, and Rebecca Wills of Roanoke College illustrated some of their student chapter activities through pictures. Some of the most memorable were whipped cream pies in the faces of professors on Pi Day and the college President and students engaged in playing Go, a new game for most of the participating students, with rules that are easy to learn. A mathematical version of the game Balderdash was created by Abby Todd of Greenville College. Her students had lots of fun as they engaged in this ’bluffingâ? game by trying to answer (or more likely make up answers, if they didn’t know the answer) questions like: Who was Johann Heinrich Lambert? and What does A.P.M. stand for? Ann Stewart and Kimberly Tysdal illustrated some of the many activities they implement with students at the weekly Math Tea at Hood College. Teaching students about slide rules, creating mathematical jack-o-lanterns and playing 24 (which may sound easy but can be challenging and fun!) are a few examples.
These activities are some samples of what could be included in MAA Student Activity Boxes for Student Chapter advisors and others who want to engage students in mathematics-related activities outside the classroom. It is our hope that CUSAC can help the MAA become a clearinghouse for such activities. Send us your ideas!