Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
The students of Patton Junior High School and their families sampled chili and baked goods, and participated in various activities all while strengthening their math skills during Family Math Night March 10 in the Patton gymnasium.
The annual night is part of Unified School District 207’s Project Prime grant awarded in 2015.
“The Family Math Night concept was developed through that grant,” said Jennifer Heronema, Patton instructional impact coach. “The purpose is to have a night specifically dedicated to math that involves families and the community.
“Math night provides families an opportunity to experience different math games and activities,” she said. “We hope that families can get ideas from math night activities and extend or recreate them at home.”
Activities included finding the cost of ingredients needed to bake a batch of cookies, adding up musical notes, adding coins and more.
“This year’s theme is Epic Escape,” Heronema said. “At each math station, students will work to find a code that will unlock an iPad to break out of the station.”
In the process, students earned tickets, which gave them the opportunity to win math-themed games to take home.
Families were also using math when they sampled the chili and baked goods by voting for their favorites and adding their selection to a bar graph, which helped determine the winner.
“For those who submitted chili or baked goods, there is a lot of math in cooking, too,” Heronema said.
Betina Faught, Patton eighth-grade math teacher, said by combining math with fun activities students are using both sides of the brain.
“Both the sides of your brain are working together,” Faught said. “You combine your joy with your mathematical reasoning.”
Parents said they enjoyed the event.
“It is very nice to get out with the family, have some fun, eat some good chili and some wonderful desserts,” said Sean Mendoza, School of Advanced Military Studies student. “It keeps young minds sharp and gives them the ability to think more broadly and understand the application of mathematics in the real world.”
Sgt. 1st Class Danny Irizarry-Espola, Mission Training Complex–Leavenworth S-6 noncommissioned officer-in-charge, said the event is a way for parents to see what their student is learning.
“This is my first time coming in on this type of event,” Irizarry-Espola said. “It is different from the day-to-day classroom environment.”
Students said they recognized the importance of the event.
“(Math) is not my favorite subject, but it can be fun sometimes,” said Matias Mendoza, Patton seventh-grader. “But you need to know your numbers. It just helps you throughout life to make your life easier because without knowing your math it would be really hard for you to be out in this world.”
Brendan Hanley, Patton eighth-grader, said math is important for all aspects of life.
“So many careers are based off of math,” Hanley said. “You just want people to have fun with it so they can have that skill later in life.”
The Bradley, Eisenhower and MacArthur Elementary Schools’ math night is 5-7 p.m. tonight at the respective schools.