Math Club Inspires Critical Thinking

By Pavel Topchilko ’19

Math club is attracting the brightest and most promising Hornet mathematicians, meeting in room 154 every Thursday during period nine.  Leading the club is their captain, Zlata Sukhan ’19, and co-captain, Xinyan Qiu ’19.

“I would like to emphasize that math is a very difficult subject and for me personally, it was definitely not the most joyous until I went to high school,” Sukhan said.  “Not only did I encounter lots of new and different knowledge about it, but I found a new interest in math. Gradually, my passion for math grew and I decided to join the math club/team.”

The students train for math competitions and work on challenging problems as a team. Training for these competitions involve tackling equations and numbers in a different way compared to a conventional math classroom.

“There’s no competition between our members because they’re a team,” said Mr. Albert Peterson, club advisor.  “We have fun.”

Recently, the club has worked hard to establish themselves as a team. Ms. Wendy Menard started the math club five years ago and had around 30 students devoted to the club. Now, the number of members declined to a range of 12 to 15. Originally, Mr. Peterson wasn’t planning on forming a math club this year because there weren’t enough members. He needed six dedicated members to restart the club. However, new students were dedicated enough to keep the club alive.

“I wanted to explore my new passion with others and joined a group of people who shared the same interest in math as me,” said Sukhan.  “So to be more precise, what I enjoy about Math Club is that all of the members create a team and challenge each other to solve more complex and perplexing mathematical exercises, and get to discuss ways to create more innovative options to get solutions.

When the club first formed, it was designed for mathematicians to talks about math. Now, it’s an academic team that competes with other schools such as Stuyvesant High School and Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School.

There are no requirements to join the club.  Although, it is helpful for students to have taken Algebra II. Mr. Peterson has been lenient with students who are allowed on the team because he believes students have the potential to work hard.

There are a limited number of reasons why someone shouldn’t join the math team. Even kids who might not be doing so well in their conventional math class can join.  Perhaps looking at methods that are used outside of math class might prove to be more practical and easier to understand for some.

“I think that students should definitely give the Math Club a try because our group works as a team.  Once you manage to solve the problem presented, it feels rewarding,” said Sukhan.

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