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K-12 Activities

The MAA strives to ensure that sessions at MathFest present mathematics in a way that is accessible to a broad audience. As a result, K-12 teachers will find all the expository sessions at MathFest to be informative and enriching. In addition, the following sessions are directed specifically at the professional interests of K-12 teachers.

Math Circle Demonstration

Saturday, July 29, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Salon C-1 and C-2

A math circle is an enrichment experience that brings mathematics professionals in direct contact with pre-college students and/or their teachers. Circles foster passion and excitement for deep mathematics. This demonstration session offers the opportunity for conference attendees to observe and then discuss a math circle experience. While participants are engaged in a mathematical investigation, mathematicians will have a discussion focused on appreciating and better understanding the organic and creative process of learning that circles offer, and on the logistics and dynamics of running an effective circle.

Paul Zeitz, University of San Francisco

SIGMAA on Math Circles for Students and Teachers (SIGMAA-MCST)

Math Wrangle

Saturday, July 29, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Salon C-1 and C-2

Math Wrangle will pit teams of students against each other, the clock, and a slate of great math problems. The format of a Math Wrangle is designed to engage students in mathematical problem solving, promote effective teamwork, provide a venue for oral presentations, and develop critical listening skills. A Math Wrangle incorporates elements of team sports and debate, with a dose of strategy tossed in for good measure. The intention of the Math Wrangle demonstration at the Joint Math Meetings is to show how teachers, schools, circles, and clubs can get students started in this exciting combination of mathematical problem solving with careful argumentation via public speaking, strategy and rebuttal.

Doug Ensley, Mathematical Association of America
Ed Keppelmann, University of Nevada, Reno
Philip B. Yasskin, Texas A&M
Paul Zeitz, University of San Francisco

SIGMAA on Math Circles for Students and Teachers (SIGMAA-MCST)
American Mathematics Competitions

Special Interactive Presentation for High School Students, Parents, and Teachers

THOSE INFAMOUS EXPLODING DOTS: A preview to Global Math Week

Saturday, July 29, 1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m., Continental Ballroom B

Here is a story that isn't true.

When I was a young child I invented a machine (not true) that was nothing more than a series of boxes that could hold dots. And these dots would, upon certain actions, explode. And with this machine (in this non-true story) I realized that I could explain true things! I could explain all the mathematics of arithmetic I learnt in grade school (true), all the polynomial algebra I was to learn in high-school (true), pre-calculus series formulas (true), elements of calculus and number theory I was to learn in university (true), and explore unanswered research questions mathematicians are studying today (also true)!

Come see an astounding mathematical story that unites element of the K-12 curriculum, and beyond, in one accessible fell swoop. Bring pencil and paper, and possibly an extra pair of socks - this session will knock your first pair right off!

James Tanton, Mathematical Association of America

Elgin Johnston, Iowa State University

MAA Council on Outreach