Math Quest proves teamwork is the best equation for success
Posted on 01/29/2019
PWCS Math Quest Logo and picture of students holding up their ribbons.Students from 14 middle schools across Prince William County Schools participated in the first PWCS Math Quest held January 12 at Lake Ridge Middle School. Open to any student in grades six through eight, the event was designed as a celebration of mathematics and teamwork.

Students from Benton, Fred Lynn, Gainesville, Graham Park, Lake Ridge, Marsteller, Nokesville, PACE West, Pennington, Porter, Rippon, Saunders, Stonewall and Woodbridge were grouped by current math level and then formed into teams of four, each named for a famous mathematician. The 30 teams rotated through three stations testing their skills at number and computation, geometric reasoning, and patterns and algebra. Students completed problems both as individuals and as teams.

“To navigate the challenges of this event, students had to make use of the “5 C's” remarked Cindy Cooper, middle school mathematics professional development specialist. “Critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship. The 5 C’s make up VDOE's profile of a graduate.”

At the conclusion of the challenge, a number of students and teams were recognized for outstanding mathematical reasoning, accuracy, communication and teamwork.

In addition to the 120 middle school participants, student volunteers from Potomac, Osbourn Park, Woodbridge, and Thomas Jefferson High Schools were on hand to teach mini-lessons, facilitate the student sessions, and help with logistics. Math teachers and math coaches helped with supervision and scoring.

Math Quest was organized and put-on by the secondary mathematics team from the Office of Student Learning whose members include Amy Hickey, supervisor of mathematics, Kris Gushue, secondary mathematics coordinator, Kristin Rojas, Mathematics professional development specialist, and Cindy Cooper, middle school mathematics professional development specialist. Community member Suzie Bastian, who has a passion for math, was also involved with planning the event.

The secondary math team plans to continue this new tradition of Math Quest each year. “We will use feedback from our students, parents, and teachers to improve the event,” added Cooper.