Rocky Mountain Math Students' Circles

Challenging mathematics problems, fun activities, lots of smiles and laughter, and of course, plenty of snacks – these are the makings of a successful Math Students' Circle (MSC).

Since its inception in 2012, the Rocky Mountain Math Students' Circles have held 4 summer Math Circle Camps for approximately 70 total kids, and over 200 Math Circle sessions for students which reached at least 200 distinct kids.

We have sponsored Math Circles at four schools in Colorado, each led by a regular Math Teachers' Circle participant: Altona Middle School in Longmont, Franktown Elementary School in Franktown, Mapleton Public Schools in Thornton, and Rangeview High School in Aurora.

Math Students' Circles provide an opportunity for mathematicians to work in their communities to engage young students in mathematics as a human, aesthetic, and social endeavor. Sometimes referred to simply as Math Circles, these venues give mathematicians experience in introducing children to topics not typically seen in school curricula in an exciting, hands-on format. Math Students' Circles lead to a greater appreciation of the subject and offer avenues for combating the boredom and fear many associates with the discipline.

This program is closely connected with the Rocky Mountain Math Teachers' Circle, as teachers from that program have led or are currently leading Math Students' Circles at their schools. In total, there have been five MSCs. Currently, there are two Math Students' Circles Associated with the Rocky Mountain Math Circle Program: Mapleton Math Circle and Franktown Elementary Math Circle. In previous years, Altona Middle School, Rangeview High School, and the University of Colorado Denver, respectively, had their own.

The Mapleton Math Students' Circle, led by Lorraine Garrison and Ayumi Holland, serves middle school students. The Mapleton School District is high-need consisting of over half minority students and over one-third of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. Unlike other Students' Circles, the Mapleton Students' Circle places an emphasis on assisting low performing math students.   

Led by Susan Meyer, the Franktown Elementary Math Students' Circle began in 2014 and is located in Douglas County School District. With the goal of inspiring and motivating children to love and embrace math, they hold about 20 weeks of after-school sessions throughout the school year for students in first to fifth grade.