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Math Challenge Club at Dalhousie
At about 5:05 on Mondays on the third floor of the Chase building at Dalhousie University the noise begins to build. Over the course of the next two hours (including an important break for pizza) sounds of frustration and confusion mostly give way to understanding and appreciation. Voices from somewhere between 20 and 25 young students, of a variety of ages and mathematical ability, question, confuse, ponder and wonder at the Math Challenge Club.
Originally started as an outreach program with the aim of preparing young girls for mathematics competition, the Math Challenge Club has developed a reputation as a place for openlearning, interesting extra-curricular mathematics and boisterous discussion (much to the chagrin of graduate students working late at the office). With minimal advertising, the program has grown by word of mouth from teachers and parents. At present, the weekly club attracts talented students from as early as grade four. Though some of these students are using these sessions to prepare to compete in provincial and national contests; for most of the students, it is a chance to see their friends, learn some cool mathematics and devour some pizza.
As spring gives way to summer, the Math Challenge Club will go the way of school bells, attendance and recess. Though just as surely as the undergraduates invade again in September, so too will the third floor of the Chase building be invaded every Monday evening by budding (and noisy!) mathematicians. The Math Challenge Club runs weekly from 5 - 7pm at Dalhousie University. For more information contact Dr. Dorette Pronk (dorette.Pronk@dal.ca)
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