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Math night finds equation for fun

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Students debunked a myth Monday evening at Elkhorn Middle School they discovered math could be fun.

About 150 students participated in the schools annual Math Night, an event geared toward promoting the importance of math in a fun environment.

We just want kids involved in and outside the classroom, and we want parent involvement as well, said Shannon Gearhart, a sixth grade math teacher and organizer of the event.

Theres just a stereotype that math isnt fun. We want both kids and parents to see that weve got games to play and it can be rewarding. It might allow parents to help their children more at home. It also opens everybodys eyes to different aspects of math that you can explore.

Nearly 20 booths were set up throughout the gym some informational and others offering competition for candy.

Larry Goode, who works in the Facilities Management Office for the National Guard, brought construction plans to show students how math is involved in planning an armory.

He demonstrated how math is necessary to plan bathrooms, calculate how much space is in a building or how much the building costs.

Its all math, he said. Its all based off a formula. Its how you come up with how youre going to plan the building.

Goode said events like Mondays are important because math is a diminishing field.

People cant make change without a cash register anymore, he said.

Some students attended for extra credit, but others attended because they were genuinely interested in math.

I came to help my teachers and the other kids understand math, seventh-grader Kirsten Wright said.

Melissa Harrod, who leads the nursing program at the Career and Technical Center, sat at a booth with medical equipment. She said her students use math for everything from basic conversions to calculating IV drips and medication doses.

She supports Math Night because of its emphasis on applied math.

If you can apply it to something youre interested in, its a lot easier than doing it just because you have to, Harrod said.