Middle School Girls Solve Problems at 9th Annual Math Collaborative

Instead of doing any number of other things —relaxing with friends, doing homework, checking social media —24 Middle School girls chose to spend their Wednesday afternoon solving 35 to 40 math problems at the Girls’ Angle Math Collaborative this week.

The “event,” as program creator Ken Fan calls it, is comprised of a number of math problems which must be solved to help decipher a secret message. This message in turn will provide clues to revealing the combination lock on a stolid looking treasure chest which sits on a stool at the front of the room.

As the girls huddle in groups, poring over the problems, there is palpable energy. One group is working on a special set of problems that if solved will allow access to ask Fan questions about the remaining problems. “Oh, this one makes sense now!” rings a cry from one table, as high-fives are exchanged.

This year marks the ninth consecutive year that the event has been offered at the Middle School, and the second year that the program will be available twice in one school year —fall and spring —due to growing popularity.

See below to view a video of the event from 2017.