Clubs: Math Team
Time: Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m.
Place: Room 346
Sponsor: Eric Walstein
President: Benjamin Lee, Christina Zou
"Basically, we solve problems," says club sponsor Eric Walstein, trying to summarize Math Team. "What the kids are learning are problem solving techniques."
Through Math Team, students can gain broader view of algebra and geometry, something they are not able to obtain in their math classes. The Math Team is comprised of about 50 members, all of whom attend the practice sessions. Then, every two weeks, juniors Akimitsu Hogge, Eric An and Edward Gan and seniors Benjamin Lee and Christina Zou participate in competitions against local schools every two weeks and, in the spring, partake in The American Regions Math League (ARML), a national competition consisting of the finest math students in the country.
According to Walstein, math teams originated in the New York/Massachusetts area around the 1920s and soon spread throughout the nation. The creation of Blair's first math team is unknown but the establishment of the Magnet in 1985, and the beginning of Walstein's teaching career at Blair the next year, certainly boosted its popularity. In fact, Blair's math team has won county competitions for 22 straight years.
First and foremost, however, Walstein stresses the importance to fully understand the concepts instead of getting the right answer. Gan values this aspect of the team because this outlook enables one to tackle any problem. "It gives you a good perspective on all problems because they are so abstract," he says.
Walstein says that he dedicates himself so fully to the Math Team because of the students' drive and motivation. "The kids tell me two things," he says. "They're not afraid to attack a new problem and they have more than one way to attack a new problem."
Students interested in joining math team should contact Eric Walstein, Benjamin Lee or Christina Zou.
Club beat by Anika Manzoor