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Opportunities for K-12 Students

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Ithaca High School Math Seminar (Grades 10-12)

The Math Seminar at Ithaca High School provides advanced mathematics instruction for students who have exhausted (or nearly exhausted) the high-school mathematics curriculum. The purpose of the seminar, which meets at the high school during school hours, is to introduce students to topics that they would typically not see until their junior or senior year in college and to encourage more high school students to major in mathematics when they go to college.

Over the course of the academic year, the seminar consists of three graduate students introducing topics related to their research interests and then guiding students in the development of their own end-of-term research projects. While by no means new research, the projects enable the high-school students to explore topics of interest. 

The Math Seminar was developed and conducted for several years with NSF funding. It is currently funded by the Mathematics Department and the Center for Applied Mathematics.

For more information or questions about the Ithaca High School Math Seminar, please contact Mary Ann Huntley.

Math Explorers' Club (Grades 8-12)

The Math Explorer's Club (MEC) consists of a sequence of lessons, led by graduate students and facilitated by undergraduate students, that introduce new mathematical concepts and problem-solving strategies to grades 8-12 students.  Lessons are designed to be interactive, providing opportunities for participants to ask and refine questions, develop ideas and definitions, and solve problems cooperatively.  Students are encouraged to share what they have learned with the general public by creating a presentation or poster based on their experience.

We implement one or two Math Explorer's Club modules on the Cornell campus each semester.  Students can expect interactive lessons taught in a cooperative and supportive learning environment = lots of fun!

(See recent coverage in the Cornell Chronicle.)

Previous offerings

Next Offering:  TBD

Note, the content that is taught in Math Explorer's Club is based on a collection of modules that was developed by graduate students through support from the National Science Foundation.

For more information about Math Explorer's Club, contact Mary Ann Huntley.

Ithaca Girls' Math Circle (Grades 6-11)

The Ithaca Girls' Math Circle is a group of girls in Grades 6-11 who meet on campus every Saturday 5:00-7:15 p.m. Dinner is included as part of the meeting. The focus of the group is on preparing girls for math competitions by offering a fun, intimate, and socially comfortable environment to explore mathematics, and building math competence with other like-minded girls.

If you are a girl in grades 6-11 who loves mathematics and wants to learn more about the Girls' Math Circle, contact Dr. Laura Jones.

Math Clubs (Grades 4-8)

Local math clubs have two goals:  (1) to stimulate students' interest in mathematics, and (2) to develop students' problem-solving skills.  At some sites, students engage in recreational mathematics; at others, students are coached for math competitions (e.g., AMC8, Math Counts, and MOEMS [Math Olympiad for Elementary and Middle Schools]).

Math clubs currently exist at the following schools in Ithaca.

  • Belle Sherman Elementary School Math Club
  • Cayuga Heights Elementary School Math Olympiad Math Club
  • Northeast Elementary School Math Circle
  • Boynton Middle School Math Club
  • DeWItt Middle School Math Club

If you are a grades 4-8 student who is interested in joining a math club, or a teacher or school administrator interested in starting a club at your school, contact Mary Ann Huntley (huntley@math.cornell.edu).

Math Tutoring

Mary Ann Huntley organizes mathematics tutoring at local schools, community centers, and other sites around the region. Tutoring takes place in a variety of formats (e.g., in-class tutoring, after-school tutoring, one-on-one). Volunteer (unpaid) tutors include undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty.  Please contact Mary Ann Huntley for more information.

Melissa Totman maintains a list of people who are interested in offering private mathematics tutoring for an hourly rate. Tutors arrange their own schedules and negotiate rates directly with clients.  Please contact Melissa Totman for more information.

GAIM: Girls' Activities in Math (Grades 3-8 girls)

Girls' Adventures in Math (GAIM) is a themed math competition for upper elementary and middle school girls, followed by strategy-based games. 

The day begins with a 60-minute, 16-question Round 1 and a 20 minute research question Round 2, followed by an afternoon of strategy games.  Teams of four students from the same school compete in one of two divisions: Upper Elementary, for grades 3-5, and Middle, for grades 6-8.

We expect to host GAIM in Spring 2019.  More information will be forthcoming.

See recent coverage in the Cornell Chronicle.

Math Discovery Workshops (Grades 2-5)

Hands-on activities that engage students in mathematics.

  • Gr. 2:  Who is bigger, you or your shadow?
  • Gr. 3:  Shapes and numbers, including figuring out the number of dots in various triangles, finding primes, and verifying Goldbach's Conjecture up to 38
  • Gr. 4:  Building tetrahedon, cube, and octahedon, and discovering Euler's formula
  • Gr. 5:  Probability and statistics of rolling 1, 2, and 4 number cubes

More information will be forthcoming.

Family Mathematics Program (Grades 7-10)

Together with Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth (CTY), the Cornell Mathematics Department and Center for Applied Mathematics hosts all-day mathematics programs for students in grades 7-10 and their parents/caregivers. It is the philosophy of the program that the family relationship is critical in nurturing the potential of students, so it is essential that each student be accompanied by a parent.

The next Family Mathematics Program is scheduled to take place at Cornell on Sunday, November 11, 2018.  More information will be forthcoming, including how to register.

Mathematics Competitions (Grades 9-12)

The Cornell Mathematics Department supports local students in a variety of math competitions. Oftentimes graduate students coach the students in preparing for the competitions. In February, the Mathematics Department often hosts the American Mathematics Contents (AMC) 10B and 12B sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America.

E-Newsletter for Parents/Guardians

Mary Ann Huntley maintains an electronic mailing list for disseminating information to parents/guardians about upcoming mathematics education events at Cornell, opportunities for students in grades K-12, and other news related to mathematics education. To be added to the electronic mailing list, please e-mail your contact information to Mary Ann.