April 23, 2019
Math and fun go hand-in-hand at Asbury University’s annual Math Night, an event designed to introduce elementary, middle and high school students to new math concepts in an exciting and challenging environment. The event was hosted by math education students in the University’s Hamann-Ray Science Center on April 15, with 81 students from grades K-12 in attendance.
This year’s Math Night was themed “Math & Literature” and made space for students to explore the connection between the two disciplines. One activity included analyzing word play and calculating percentages for a variety of elements in poetry.
For Dr. Cheryll Crowe ’03 Johnson, Math Department chair, this year’s Math Night showed students how two seemingly unrelated disciplines could connect, highlighting the ways in which the liberal arts subjects work in tandem.
“From learning about the Golden Ratio to exploring measurement, literature was used as the foundation to show the connections between everyday experience and Math,” Johnson said.
Around 40 math education students from Johnson’s courses helped put on the event. Kara Wiley ’19 and Kyla Driskill ‘19 served as student leaders during this year’s Math Night. For Wiley, the event provided an incredible opportunity to test out her leadership skills, in addition to helping kids see math as an enjoyable subject.
“My favorite part was getting to see all the kids having fun with math,” Wiley said. “I feel that most students in school don’t like math because they feel like it is useless and not fun. So, it is awesome seeing these students having fun with math. Hopefully this will inspire them to take an interest in math and explore all the awesome fun they can have with it.”
The event also serves as an exciting chance for math education students to implement what they’ve learned in their classes at Asbury.
“Our pre-service teachers receive the unique opportunity to practice with actual students the mathematics skills that they have learned in their content courses,” Johnson said. “Asbury’s goal is to provide authentic experiences for our future teachers, so they are well-prepared and feel confident in teaching mathematics. We also seek to provide outreach to our local community through a variety of events, and Math Night is certainly a culmination of these efforts.”
Parent Lisa Wayne was very satisfied with the fun learning experiences her son Evan had at Math Night.
“My son got to participate in Math Night today and had the best time,” Wayne said. “It was super well organized and everyone was super friendly. We look forward to Math Nights in the future!”