Ask a mathematician what he or she 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.
Last year, 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. While the team did not win the chapter competition, one member did advance to states and the team will compete again as 8th graders to see how much further they can go.
Based on this success, BEAM is launching a larger MATHCOUNTS outreach initiative, designed to place volunteers with our partner schools across New York City.
At this time, 10 teams are up and running and we are looking for further volunteers to serve as co-coaches.
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 we may participate in competitions in 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. The curriculum was designed last year to meet the needs of sharp, young mathematicians with great potential but who 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
- Ongoing: new volunteer trainings
- October: team meetings begin (most teams have started)
- 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 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