Inspiring students to further pursue academic interests and challenge themselves is at the foundation of MBEF’s mission. So when parent volunteers initiated after-school math clubs at each school site, MBEF dedicated funding to encourage these clubs to compete in districtwide and statewide competitions. Over the past four years, the number of students involved has multiplied, especially among female students. In both a districtwide elementary competition and a national competition, it’s our female math students who are challenging each other and the country with their innovative and creative thinking skills.
Most recently, mathletes from all five elementary schools participated in the 4th annual MBUSD Elementary Math Contest on May 13th. The Pacific Calculators Distance Team was the overall winner and Avi Khurani, a 5th grader at Pacific, was the individual event winner.
Multiple Manhattan Beach teams, made up of all female students, also participated in the national competition, Girls Adventures in Math (GAIM). Though GAIM has proven to be a highly competitive event, MBUSD delivered in all categories:
- Greatest of All Time Distinction (Top 10% of scorers): Blue Riptides 1E from Robinson and Blue Waves 1M from MBMS
- Innovator Distinction (110 – 159): Blue Waves 2M & 3M from MBMS, Green Alligators 3E from Grand View Elementary, and Pacific Panthers 1E from Pacific Elementary.
- Maverick Distinction (70 – 109): The Green Alligators 1E & 2E from Grand View Elementary and the Meadows Mustangs 3E from Meadows Elementary.
- Explorer category – Meadows Mustangs 3E.
MBUSD’s most significant win at GAIM was the Manhattan Beach Middle School team, Blue Waves 1M, scoring in the top 10% and making GAIM history for being one of three teams in the country to achieve a perfect score of 230 out of 230. Congratulations to the team members – Kate Kligys, Rose Cohen, Vanessa Patil (8th graders), and Audrey Treger (7th grade) – who were coached by parent Aaron Cohen.
GAIM is a national team-based math competition for girls in grades 3-8, which encourages collaborative thinking and creative, out-of-the-box problem solving. Each team is given sixteen challenging and innovative math problems with just sixty minutes to solve them. GAIM competitions encourage collaboration, asserting that working together with teammates is both more expedient and productive.
The focus on high caliber math curriculum and support remains a priority to MBEF. Through donations, MBEF, consistently funds programs and educators to maintain smaller math class sizes and strengthen Common Core instruction, all of which help to bridge curriculum from the elementary to secondary levels. Part of the success of our female students in math competitions can be credited to the positive impact of smaller class sizes, thriving after-school math clubs, and the districtwide Math TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment), who supports districtwide efforts. In addition, the TOSA helps teachers utilize instructional strategies that support and engage students. With a focus on making math more personalized in and out of the classroom, after school clubs have been forming at every level, bringing like-minded students together to challenge the way they think and create new avenues of solving problems. To get engaged in a Math Club at your school site, visit the MBX Foundation. In this fast-paced, ever-changing economy, it is imperative that we continue to provide a solid foundation in math and nurture strategic critical thinking and creative problem-solving to prepare our students for job we cannot even imagine today.