Sponsors and Partners
The Math Forum at Drexel University
The Math Forum is a leading center for mathematics and mathematics education on the Internet. Operating under the Drexel University School of Education, our mission is to provide resources, materials, activities, person-to-person interactions, and educational products and services that enrich and support teaching and learning in an increasingly technological world. Our online community includes teachers, students, researchers, parents, educators, and citizens at all levels who have an interest in math and math education. The Math Forum provides planning support and guidance, web space, and professional development for teachers, college mentors, and guest judges for the EMC to ensure that students derive the greatest benefit from the EMC. In addition, The Math Forum develops the Problems of the Week used in the EMC. More information about the Math Forum is available at mathforum.org.
Philadelphia Math + Science Coalition
The vision of the Math + Science Coalition at the Philadelphia Education fund is that Philadelphia public school students will graduate high school with strong math and science knowledge and skills, enabling them to succeed in a 21st century STEM economy. The Math + Science Coalition’s goals include escalating the importance of STEM education in the greater Philadelphia region, enhancing math and science teachers' effectiveness, and increasing math and science proficiency while developing 21st century skills for Philadelphia public school students. More information about the Philadelphia Math + Science Coalition is available at http://www.philaedfund.org/ programs/advancing-education/philadelphia-math-science-coalition.
National Society of Black Engineers
The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), with more than 29,900 members, is one of the largest student-governed organizations in the country. Founded in 1975, NSBE now includes more than 394 College, Pre-College, and NSBE Professional chapters in the United States and abroad. NSBE’s mission is "to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community." Membership in NSBE provides rewarding and exciting opportunities for students interested in engineering and science. An information session will be held to encourage students to pursue engineering and join or form a NSBE Jr. chapter. More information about NSBE is available at www.nsbe.org.
Drexel University is a comprehensive global research university ranked among the top 100 in the nation. With approximately 25,000 students, Drexel is one of America's 15 largest private universities. Drexel has built its global reputation on core achievements that include leadership in experiential learning through Drexel Co-op, a history of academic technology firsts, and recognition as a model of best practices in translational, use-inspired research. Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Drexel now engages with students and communities around the world. Drexel will provide space for the EMC as well and student mentors to help teachers and students prepare for competition. More information about Drexel is available at www.drexel.edu.
Planning and Advisory Committee
A team of educators have contributed to the creation of the Philadelphia EMC. Feel free to contact any of the organizers below with questions.
Director of Professional Development, The Math Forum, Drexel University
suzanne at mathforum.org
Program Coordinator, Math + Science Coalition, Philadelphia Education Fund
dmckinney at philaedfund.org
Professional Collaboration Facilitator, The Math Forum, Drexel University
max at mathforum.org
Chair, Science Department, Boys' Latin of Philadelphia Charter School Advisor, Boys' Latin Jr. Chapter, National Society of Black Engineers
jsmith at boyslatin.org
Benefits for Students, Teachers, and Schools
Teachers, students, and schools will receive a number of benefits by participating in the Philadelphia EMC:
- Students will be challenged with math- and engineering-related problems that require application of knowledge, teamwork, creativity, and communication.
- Students and teachers will meet a professional engineer who will visit the classroom to talk about what it is like to work in a STEM field.
- Students will earn awards and recognition for their work and growth.
- Students and teachers will partner with Drexel undergraduate mentors, who will provide support and a connection to the University.
- Students and teachers will receive lunch on competition days at Drexel and will learn about the Drexel campus.
- Teachers will gain FREE access (annual subscription is $25) to the "Problems of the Week" created by the Math Forum at Drexel for team preparation and classroom use.
- Teachers will receive four sets of math and engineering problems prior to each competition for team preparation and classroom use.
- Teachers will be part of a professional learning community of peers that shares examples of promising practices that address the Common Core.
- Schools will benefit from the infusion of enthusiasm for math and engineering brought back by participating students and teachers.
Description of Student Commitment
Students should commit to attending all scheduled practice events before and/or after school led by the teacher coach and/or mentor. Students should also commit to attending all four competition events at Drexel in November, January, March, and June. In addition, students should demonstrate curiosity, perseverance, and professionalism while collaborating with peers, teachers, mentors, and competition judges at each stage of the competition. Students should focus on team and individual improvement over winning the competition.
Description of Teacher Commitment
Teachers should commit to coaching students at least once a week to prepare them for competition. Teachers should assemble a team of 8 students that represents the school's diversity and should use the competition as a way to motivate and push students who have shown an interest in a STEM discipline. Teachers should commit to communicating with Drexel mentors via email and/or phone to set up practice times. Teachers should secure the commitment of a school administrator and parents/guardians to ensure that students are able to attend the competitive events at Drexel. Teachers should complete all registration forms, present required documentation to Philadelphia EMC organizers in a timely manner, and communicate as needed with organizers when questions arise to help facilitate a smooth and successful program.
Description of School and Administration Commitment
Schools and administrators should commit to providing support for teachers and students participating in the EMC. Support includes helping teachers navigate the field trip request process with the School District of Philadelphia, securing transportation for teacher and students to events at Drexel, providing a staff member who can accompany students to events at Drexel, providing access to the school for university mentor, and generally supporting the team and teacher as they prepare for competition.
Description of University Student Mentor Commitment
University student mentors should commit to providing support for teachers and students participating in the Philadelphia EMC. Support includes visiting the school at least five times prior to each competition at Drexel to practice and prepare with students, working with EMC organizers to understand and then convey challenge rules and expectations to teachers and students, and encouraging students to focus on teamwork and personal improvement rather than emphasizing winning every challenge. Mentors may need to secure paperwork that would allow them to visit the school according to School District of Philadelphia policies.
Description of Volunteer Judge Commitment
Volunteer judges should commit to providing constructive and supportive feedback to teachers and students participating in the Philadelphia EMC. Judges should strive to be impartial and patient when judging each challenge. Judges should communicate with EMC organizers as soon as possible if circumstances arise that affect judges’ abilities to participate.
In March 2013, nine high schools in Philadelphia convened for the first-ever March Math Madness competition. March Math Madness, hosted by the Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia junior chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, was a fast-paced mathematics competition that pushed high-achieving high school students to solve problems using logic and reasoning. March Math Madness encouraged students to sharpen teamwork skills and prepare for the SAT. The competition capitalized upon the excitement surrounding the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament and emphasized that college readiness involves a strong foundation in mathematics and the ability to think critically. The competition was modeled after Try-Math-a-Lon competitions sponsored by the National Society of Black Engineers.
In May 2013, four individuals met to map out a competition that would better encourage students to apply math reasoning to real-world contexts instead of simply emphasizing one-and-done problems with single correct answers. The planning of the new competition was heavily influenced by the work being done by the Math Forum at Drexel that included online spaces for student and teacher development as well as math modeling using 21st century technologies. What emerged was a four-part challenge that would encourage students to communicate, engineer solutions, and apply mathematical reasoning at school and in university-based competitions. Furthermore, teachers would be encouraged to strengthen current classroom practices by using resources and practices provided and modeled by the Math Forum.