‘Mistakes are welcome’: Math Team plays games, participates in national exams


Photo credit: Liz Haltrecht

Members of the Math Team play Set, a mathematical card game which consists of finding cards that are similar or different. These findings are based on four different variables: number, color, shading and shape. “It’s pretty tricky, but we have some great players,” club leader Lola Wolf ’19 said.

Curiosity, creativity and a desire to learn from your mistakes are words that Math Team leader Lola Wolf ’19 uses to describe a great mathematician.

In Math Team, activities include playing math games, completing riddles or solving practice problems, but Wolf said that it varies for each meeting. The team also takes a national math exam once a month, where the school as a whole receives a grade, as well as each team member.

“We compete with each other but also on a national level as a school,” Wolf said. “The problems are really tricky as well as really fun.”

Wolf started the club because she noticed there were not many math-related electives at Archer. She wanted the Archer community to be able to apply math in a fun way.

“I wanted to create a math elective or extracurricular that was just lots of fun and that taught people to enjoy math,” Wolf said.

In yesterday’s meeting, the club played a game called Set, a mathematical card game, and solved some riddles and practice problems.

Junior club members Lola Vescovo and Lena Jones said they enjoy the club environment and sense of community. They said that it does not matter if you get a problem wrong and that the team is helpful in their own math courses.

“Mistakes are welcome and that’s a very just liberating feeling because there are some complex problems we are dealing with on a weekly basis,” Jones said. “At the same time, we are learning how to work through them so that the failure on the journey there is not frowned upon, but celebrated.”

The club is much more than just studying math in class, club members said. They have fun and enjoy working through problems.

“I like how sometimes we will do traditional math problems but then we’ll also play games or do puzzles,”  Vescovo said. “We’re still doing math but we’re doing it in a different way.”

Wolf expressed pride in her club members and said she hopes to cultivate a love of math in each of them.

“I think we are a very strong team filled with very intelligent people,” Wolf said, “I really can’t wait to see what we accomplish this year.”

The club meets every Thursday during lunch in Julian Rojas’ room.