“Playful Problems to Ponder Upon” and More

18 Jan 2018
ByAkim St Omer

Fourth and fifth graders at Ethical Culture have been participating in a new and exciting club this year. Participation in the Math Club, which meets during lunch and recess each week, is completely voluntary, and the goal is to give interested students more opportunities to do math.

Fourth graders have worked with math specialist Becky Weintraub on a problem-solving unit titled "Playful Problems to Ponder Upon," which was followed by one on probability. Currently, they are completing a unit on cryptography. Kim Deveaux and other members of the school's technology team have been playing a role, helping students learn about cryptography and coding as it relates to technology and Internet safety. Using the Scratch programming language, students will next create individual projects around the concept of Internet security.

Fifth graders in the club have worked with Deveaux and math specialist Samantha Resnik on a project that looks at the technology budget of the school. Students broke down the budget into categories, selected one, and wrote surveys to distribute to the faculty. After the surveys were handed back, students created a presentation about the results to deliver to the technology department. The next project the students will tackle concerns the fifth-grade gift of action, which is partnering with 350 NYC, an organization working to solve the climate crisis.