This summer, middle school students are thinking about math in a whole new way.
Students are thinking “outside the box” as the Math Outside the Box program included strategy games, deductive reasoning, graph theory, combinations, permutations and combinations. They have learned about sequences such as the Fibonacci series, and linear functions and cryptology while solving puzzles, playing games, and creating origami.
At Waterloo Middle School, math tutor Kris McKay and Boston University math faculty member Dr. Kate Hendrix showed student the role math plays in space programs and weapons design. Students met at the school for three hours each day for group discussion about how to solve problems and why math works the way it does.
“I am about (teaching) the why,” Hendrix said. “Students have to know every part of it, not just the formulas. It’s about discovering the subject not just memorizing rules and procedures.”
According to Hendrix, when they use games and puzzles, kids have to think about strategies, and plan which strategy is the best for solving the problem or winning the game.