Welcome to Somerville Mathematics

Welcome to Somerville Mathematics, a blog devoted to exciting mathematical things happening in Somerville MA. I am the founder of The Somerville Mathematics Fund, www.Somervillemathematicsfund.org
The Math Fund was chartered to celebrate and encourage mathematics achievement in Somerville. I hope you will check out my TEDxSomerville talk on the Somerville Math Fund,
I find that there are many other interesting things happening mathematically in Somerville and I hope on this blog to have others share what they are doing. So please contact me at mathfund@gmail.com if you would like to contribute an article.
Erica

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Pizza, then Pi, and finally Pies —A Great way to Celebrate a Transcendental Number -- A Somerville Tradition!


Thursday, March 14 is Pi Day (3.14).  What better excuse is there to have a celebration of math with middle schoolers than π?     On Pi Day, well over 250 students, parents, teachers, and volunteers from the high school, PTA and community celebrated π  at the Healey School by eating pizza for dinner then spending an evening estimating, creating, collecting data, answering questions, and ending with pies for everyone.
Drawing a nephroid with straight lines

After enjoying pizza donated by the Bickoff family of the Commercial Cleaning Service (discounted by White Sport), the students from the students from the Healey School, who were joined by students from East Somerville, Argenziano, Winter Hill and Kennedy Schools, went around to a wide variety of math activities set up in the gym.
Pitching pennies to determine which is a better challenge,
a square in a circle or a circle in a square

These activities included: bicycle wheel roll, guessing contest, tooth pick drop (Buffon’s Needle problem), drawing a circle the size of a CD, mystery boxes, π button design, π facts quiz, birthday in π, circle in square vs square in circle, drawing cardioid or nephroid, drawing concentric circles by folding, drawing circles by tangents, drawing circle by right angles, graphing circumference vs diameter, and predicting circumferences in mm by feel of objects in mystery boxes.
Drawing a circle using a right angle


The event was planned by Wil Jacques (Healey), Scott Weaver (ESCS), Jen Rodriguez (Argenziano) and Erica Voolich (Somerville Mathematics Fund).  Teachers at the Somerville High School recruited volunteers to help run the events they may have experienced themselves years before.  Some members of the Delta Tau Delta (Tufts) chapter joined community volunteers.
Graphing circumference vs radius of various round objects.

Table Talk Pies of Worcester generously supplied small pies for all who came that night and large pies for the winners of events.  Table Talk has generously supported this Somerville Math Fund event for fifteen years.
Estimating the circumference of various round objects in and around the room.

When planning the first SMF π Night in 2003; the Math Fund called the Table Talk Pi Company and explained what π day was and Table Talk generously donated large pies for prizes and small pies for everyone.
One of the winners of one of the many Pi math activities
Sixteen years later, Table Talk Pies is not only still donating to the Somerville Pi night celebration, but to many more celebrations.   This year Table Talk donated about 70,000 pies to schools and organizations celebrating pi day.
Making Pi Buttons.


A big thank you to all the volunteers and donors who made this fun, educational evening possible.  It takes a community to celebrate π day!
Pitching toothpicks to calculate Pi

The Somerville Mathematics Fund, was founded in 2000 with the mission to celebrate and encourage mathematics achievement in Somerville, MA.  They also award renewable college mathematics scholarships; applications will be due in early April.  For more information, to make a donation, or to volunteer, visit www.somervillemathematicsfund.org or mathfund@gmail.com or call 617-666-0666.
Rolling the bike wheel to see who estimated correctly
how far it would travel in  one and one half revolutions.

The link to this site is https://somervillemathematics.blogspot.com/2019/03/pizza-then-pi-and-finally-pies-great.html
©Erica Dakin Voolich 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Have a Great Idea on How to Teach Math? These Teachers Do!

Many teachers have great ideas on how to make their classrooms a better place for their students to learn math.  The teachers’ ideas frequently outrun the budget schools have for supplies and their own ability to subsidize their classroom.  The Somerville Mathematics Fund tries to fill this need through the generosity of their donors.  Jay Landers & Jasper Lawson and the Apple Tree Fund each sponsored multiple grants. Lali & Jay Haines, Tufts University, Winter Hill Bank and Rebecca Wood-Spagnoli each sponsored a teacher's grant.  The rest of the grants were funded thanks to the combined generosity of everyone who contributed to the Math Fund’s annual fundraiser.  The following teachers won grants to encourage and support mathematics achievement in the classrooms of Somerville.

These Teacher Grants were funded by the many generous donors who together contributed enough in our annual  fundraiser to support all of them.  There is power in donations of many sizes coming together to support the larger whole.
• Leah Jaenicke, Albert F. Argenziano School (2nd Integrated SEI), Montessori Math Materials
• Lauren Reilly, Arthur D. Healey School (2nd), Math Games for School and Home
• Angela Rodriguez, Albert F. Argenziano School (3rd Integrated SEI), Math Kits Materials & Games
• Kelsey Schroder, Arthur D. Healey School (2nd), Math Center Materials & Games
• Halley H. Snelling, Albert F. Argenziano School (Integrated 2nd), Rekenrek Materials
• Barbara Strell, Arthur D. Healey School (Resource Room, K - 2nd), Manipulatives for Number Sense and Operations
• Meaghan Tubridy, Albert F. Argenziano School (Special Education Teacher, 2nd - 3rd), Mathematics Manipulatives

The Math Fund wants to thank the Apple Tree Fund for generously underwriting the following teacher grants:
• Sandra Dumas, Benjamin Brown School, (5th), Math Games
• Diana Garity, Albert F. Argenziano School (2nd SEI Newcomers), Kathy Richardson books and Materials
• Rene Holtzman, Albert F. Argenziano School  (1st, SEI), Magnatiles

The Math Fund wants to thank  Jay Landers and Jasper Lawson for generously underwriting the following teacher grants:
• Yasmina Belatreche, Winter Hill Community Innovation School (Middle School SEI), IXL
• Jennifer Kuszmar, Winter Hill Community Innovation School (2nd, 3rd Autism Classroom), Math Manipulatives
• Margaret M. O’Connell, Somerville High School (Math), Intro to Hardware Engineering Materials (math class)
• Andrea Palmer, Winter Hill Community Innovation School (K-8 Math Coach), Online Harvard’s MQI Course + Math Materials
• Meredith Rothstein, Winter Hill Community Innovation School (4th - 6th Autism Classroom), Math Adapted Materials & Math Manipulatives
• Katie Starbuck, Arthur D. Healey School (Math Coach), Online Harvard’s MQI Course

The Math Fund wants to thank each of the following for generously underwriting a teacher grant:
• Sandra Dumas, Benjamin Brown School, (5th), Math Games
• Diana Garity, Albert F. Argenziano School (2nd SEI Newcomers), Kathy Richardson books and Math Materials
• Rene Holtzman, Albert F. Argenziano School  (1st, SEI), Magnatiles

Lali and Jay Haines:
• Michele Moreno, Albert F. Argenziano School (3rd Integrated ELL), Math Center Materials & Games

Tufts University:
• Caroline Martha Burkard, East Somerville Community School (6th Math), Math Center Materials

The Winter Hill Bank:
• Susanne Douglas, Arthur D. Healey School (2nd), Math Center Materials & Games

Rebecca Wood-Spagnoli:
• Emily Elahi, Albert F. Argenziano School  (1st, SEI), Math Center Materials & Games

The Somerville Mathematics Fund was chartered in 2000 to celebrate and encourage achievement in mathematics in the city of Somerville, Massachusetts.  Over nineteen years, the Somerville Math Fund has awarded $121,865 in teacher grants supporting three hundred eleven teachers’ projects in the city of Somerville along with emergency grants to East Somerville teachers after the devastating school fire.

In early April, the fund will be seeking applications from students who reside in Somerville for college mathematics scholarships.  Links to the scholarship application form is available at  www.somervillemathematicsfund.org   For more information, to volunteer or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please contact Erica Voolich (617-666-0666 or mathfund@gmail.com).

The link to this page is: https://somervillemathematics.blogspot.com/2019/01/have-great-idea-on-how-to-teach-math.html
© Erica Dakin Voolich, 2019