While you might expect students to enjoy a well-earned break at lunch time and after school, Moscrop Secondary school’s Math Club students can instead be found hard at work practising and preparing for their next contest.
Grade 8-12 students sign up for the Math Club as a way to challenge themselves. They meet once a week outside of class time with a math teacher and study hard in preparation to achieve a high score on the University of Waterloo’s math contests. These challenging contests are offered every year to grade 8-12 students globally, as a way for students to get more involved in math and develop their problem-solving skills.
The Math Club’s hard work certainly pays off. Moscrop Secondary consistently ranks high among Canadian schools on the famed contests. This year, they had their biggest win yet. They earned the national championship on the Fermat contest for grade 11 students, placing first ahead of two defending champion schools from Ontario.
For 12-year Math Club teacher Danny Young, it’s all about helping his students find success. Many students come to the club without even realizing they have a talent for math. He explains that once they get some direction and start to succeed, the students accomplish amazing things on their own.
Young isn’t short of examples of how far his students have taken their math skills. One former Math Club student has gone on to be a stockbroker, and another is working at a company that develops mechanical arms that are used to perform medical surgeries. Young can see that many of his students have the potential to make a real difference in the world.
Young and his colleagues at Moscrop Secondary are supporting their students’ success outside the classroom too. They created a website called BCMath.ca, where their students can access all the materials and resources they need to prepare for the contests. The website features online tutorials and practice exams, and is available to any student in the province who wants to prepare for and compete in the contests.
With the help of Young and his colleagues, the students of Moscrop Secondary school’s Math Club are realizing their potential and pushing their boundaries – and they have some pretty big accomplishments to show for it.