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Advent Partners with GAIM for Themed Math Competition

06 Apr Advent Partners with GAIM for Themed Math Competition

As a school located in the heart of Boston, one of the most progressive cities in regard to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, The Advent School is committed to partnering with local and national organizations focused on science and mathematics education.

One of the partnerships Advent has recently created is with GAIM (Girls’ Adventures in Math), which was founded in 2014, and is a themed math competition for upper elementary and middle school female students. With several competitions throughout the country, GAIM is quickly growing into an effective and popular extracurricular mathematics organization for girls.

After learning of a GAIM competition that will be held on Saturday, April 28 at Lexington Montessori School in Lexington, MA, members of Advent’s faculty and administration jumped at the opportunity to form teams of students and enter the competition.

Led by Sixth Grade teacher Alex Jones, Fourth Grade teacher Katie Knox, and Third Grade teachers Molly Rountree and Bethany Stoll, Advent is entering four teams of four female students (sixteen students total, which is the competition’s maximum for entries) into the competition. The students are in Third through Sixth Grades, and will be preparing for the April competition throughout the next two weeks.

The competition will begin with sixteen questions posed to each team, which will be solved within one hour. The teams will then complete one longer form question in twenty minutes. Each question will require collaboration, strategizing, and recognition of patterns to solving problems. The day will culminate with the announcement of the winning teams from each age category, as well as honorable mention teams.

Jones, who was one of the most enthusiastic Advent faculty members to join the GAIM initiative, says she was inspired by the organization’s mission.

“I know so many women in my life that are employed in STEM fields, and are successful in their careers,” she said. “Advent does a great job at not having gender bias in classrooms, but it still exists in our society. It is important to set our students up with a strong foundation, so when they encounter bias in their future they have that confidence. This organization gives a great opportunity for girls to invest in mathematics outside the classroom as an extracurricular activity.”

Jones, whose Masters Degree is focused in STEM at the elementary level, explains that the study of mathematics is commonly mistaken for a form of memorization. The process of learning how to find the answer is just as important.

“Math is a way of thinking about the world,” she said. “It is a tool to understand the world around you and think about it in new ways. By understanding it from this perspective, students are empowered to feel confident in math, and to use it in the future. It becomes less of something they just have to get through, and is instead a process they can work through to understand.”

Jones also says the response to Advent’s involvement with GAIM has been overwhelmingly positive from parents. She believes the partnership will grow from this first competition, as there is an excitement on campus around extracurricular mathematics groups. She also hopes GAIM continues to gain success in its participation from schools, changing the mindset around math from just something to memorize, to something that helps us understand the world around us.

To learn more about GAIM, please visit their website: https://www.girlsadventuresinmath.com/.