Students Stay After-School to Flex Math Muscles

It was math equations. It was optional. After-school. And had no credit attached. Nearly two dozen students gathered freely with Mr. Norris-LeBlanc and Mr. Clarkson on Tuesday and Friday afternoon last week to put their math knowledge to the test by solving equations from previous American Mathematics Competition exams.

"The students had fun with it. They became very focused on solving the problems and turned competitive with each other. They started to argue and debate on who had the right answer. The session created a lot of excitement and buzz around math learning, which is valuable and unique," said Norris-LeBlanc.

The AMC exam is the most prestigious mathematics competition for middle and high school students in the country. Of the 350,000 students participating, on average each year, only a handful will achieve perfect scores. This year, roughly 85 PCD students will take the exam on Wednesday, February 7. While the mathlete-type club was created to allow students to have fun, Norris-LeBlanc says it also offered an introduction to the AMC exam's structure and format.

In both after-school sessions, the students laughed, challenged each other and thought about math differently, together. "The problems from the AMC exam are a different kind of math and they offer an opportunity for us to practice skills that we haven't necessarily used or have seen in our own day-to-day math curriculum," said Norris-LeBlanc. "Nowhere else would our students have this type of unique setting to sit around together, think and talk about math in a different way. They all really enjoyed it."

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