Math resource being tested this year

Math Department tests out new resource for math tutoring in a pilot year.

by Katherine Green, Copy Editor of News

For the first time in recent years at STA, the math department is testing out “a math resource for students other than just being in the classroom with their teacher,” according to head of the math department Jo Weller.

Called the “Math Hub,” this resource is currently only available to a small group of students. However, it is in the works to be made available to all students at anytime necessary during the school day, according to Weller.

“That’s what [the math department’s] ultimate goal is,” Weller said. “But, this is our pilot year, so we don’t really have the staffing to handle all the time and all the students and we don’t really have a place for it yet.”

The math department currently offers the Math Hub for a small group of Algebra I freshman students and sophomore Geometry students. Six upperclassmen work alongside math teachers Kelsey Romine, Diana Blessen and Weller to act as tutors towards the younger students.

“We think that it’s is a great idea to get some freshmen and some sophomores that have an extra math resource,” Weller said.  ‘They also get to build those relationships with upperclassmen.”

The upperclassmen helping the underclassmen receive service hours for their work as well as experience with helping other students. These upperclassmen volunteers must be comfortable with both Algebra I as well as Geometry and have to be patient and positive, according to Weller.

“I feel like by coaching [the underclassmen] through problems, I am not only helping them improve their math skills, but also giving them more confidence to do the problems on their own,” one of the senior volunteers Sophie Burke said. “It feels good to knowing that I am helping girls with something that really is a struggle for them.”

These students involved with the pilot year of the Math Hub meet during activity periods in their math teachers room two times a week. During these times, students will have the opportunity to receive help from not only their own math teacher, but either Romine, Blessen or Weller as well as the six upperclassmen.

“There’s a room full of [students and volunteers]and they’re going over worksheets that have been generated by [the teachers] that will help them understand material,” Blessen said.

The math teachers hope to extend the program to at least up to Algebra II students and then the whole school, according to Blessen.

“I think everyone has struggled with math at one point or another,” Weller said.  “I know I have, I have all these degrees in math, but it’s not like it all came easy to me. I think it’s really good for students to know that they have [older students] who know what [the student] is going through.”