OCMC Held First Santa Ana Math Club Session

 - Alex Zivkovic, University High School, Class of 2013

Sean, Alex, Staphany, Elisa, and JohnnyUshering in a new era for the Orange County Math Circle, OCMC volunteers taught their first class in Santa Ana. Previously only providing math competitions for students of Orange County, the OCMC expanded this year and has begun to offer math lessons to students of Santa Ana’s elementary and middle schools.

At Lathrop Intermediate School, over 60 fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh graders gave up their typical Saturday morning to pursue their interest in mathematics. Invited students came from several schools that fed into Lathrop Intermediate. Students were selected by their teachers and school based on performance and class participation. Ambitious students were selected for this program which will meet once a month until May, when the Santa Ana Math Field Day happens.

As a member of this program, students are offered the opportunity to improve their critical thinking and problem solving skills in a group environment. Students will work with other students from their school, while they will be taught by our skilled OCMC volunteers who will assist them during the practice rounds.

For the first practice, a tough diagnostic test was given. Pushing the students, volunteers allotted the sixth and seventh graders 10 minutes to do the test individually. Then students worked in groups and tried to solve the rest of the problems. While some volunteers graded the tests, students played 24, a math game played with cards. Following this, students were handed back the test and each question was explained by the volunteers on the board, with student participation to guide them in the lecture.



Fourth and fifth grade students were taught by Elisa Young, Jonathan Li, and Staphany Hou. Sixth and seventh graders were assisted by Sean Liu and Alex Zivkovic. Several teachers assisted the program. Ms. Matasovic, Mr. Reyes, Ms. Sweeney, and Ms. Lujan all attended the event and supported us with their advice. Mrs. Walker, the curriculum specialist for mathematics and science at the Santa Ana Unified School District, helped cover the logistics of this program.

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