Vanderbilt offers free math club fun for middle, high schoolers

The Nashville Math Club-hosted by Vanderbilt University mathematicians-will meet six times virtually during the spring semester, starting Feb. 9. The free after-school club is open to middle- and high-school students who are interested in learning complex mathematical concepts in fun and creative ways. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club continues to meet on Zoom for the 2020-21 school year.

Alice Mark, senior lecturer in mathematics, directs the club, which will meet twice monthly from 5 to 7 p.m. Those dates are Feb. 9 and 23, March 9 and 23, and April 6 and 20.

headshot of Alice Mark
Alice Mark (Vanderbilt University)

“We aim to go beyond the regular classroom curriculum and help students discover fun, creative uses for key mathematical concepts,” Mark said. “As the pandemic continues, the Nashville Math Club provides a safe extracurricular opportunity when so many other activities have been paused.”

The club, which is open to all students in grades 5-12, strives to broaden math and problem-solving skills with activities that include using exotic fractions to solve puzzles, codes and cryptography, math Jeopardy! and more. More examples can be found on the Nashville Math Club website. One of the club’s goals is to attract students from groups underrepresented in the STEM fields.

In addition to Mark, the Nashville Math Club will draw on the expertise of Lori Rafter, senior lecturer in mathematics; Larry Rolen, assistant professor of mathematics; Kaitlyn O’Rourke, business operations coordinator, financial operations and planning, Division of Finance; Ian Wagner, postdoctoral fellow; and Zachary Tripp and Brian Luczak, graduate students.

All students must register to participate in the Nashville Math Club

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