Ask a mathematician what they did during middle school and many will answer that they got their start in MATHCOUNTS. Yet most middle schools in the low-income neighborhoods of New York City do not offer a math team let alone send a team to MATHCOUNTS.
In school year 2016-2017, BEAM placed a volunteer math coach at one of our schools in the Bronx. The four team members, all 7th graders, had never been part of a math team before, but they had spent the summer before at BEAM 6 discovering their love of math.
They may not have won the chapter competition, but the team did well. One member advanced to state competition, and all four teammates committed to exploring math together as 8th graders. What’s more, the team built a model and tools needed to bring meaningful, volunteer-driven math enrichment to students city-wide.
Rooted in this success, BEAM formed the MATHCOUNTS outreach initiative. Volunteer coaches paired with 10 New York City middle school math teams last year. BEAM staff and partner schools hope to continue—and further expand—MATHCOUNTS outreach this school year, and are looking for volunteer coaches to realize this goal.
WHAT TO EXPECT
BEAM works with 35 schools across New York City in low-income neighborhoods.
We are looking for volunteers who can spend at least one hour a week, from now to May*, running a math team. In addition, you'll want to join your team at their MATHCOUNTS competition in February (and teams may participate in competitions in January, March, and April as well!).
Generally, we will place two volunteers at each school. You will also be working with a classroom teacher from the school: a school staff member will always be in the room!
BEAM will be providing curriculum, training, contest registration funds, and additional support as requested. BEAM staff and volunteers have built curriculum to meet the needs of sharp young mathematicians who have great potential but are new to the math team setting.
BEAM partner schools are located in four of the five boroughs of New York City. In the application, you will let us know which neighborhood(s) and/or train line(s) are convenient for you.
You can find more details in the volunteer application and below!
What happens next?
Applied to be a volunteer? Thanks! Here's what to expect:
- Ongoing: volunteer interviews
- Late September: new volunteer trainings
- Late September-early October: team meetings begin (pending school's preferences)
- Fall & winter: teams meet on a weekly basis
- December (or January): mock MATHCOUNTS, a complete sample competition for all BEAM math teams
- February: MATHCOUNTS!
- Spring: teams continue to meet on a weekly basis, potentially working toward other math competitions (including GAIM, MoMath, and Pi5NY)
*Can't stay with a team through May? We understand your schedule may change in January. If you're serving as a co-coach, we may be able to adjust when you volunteer if your schedule changes as long as at least one coach has a consistent schedule.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org