Math Club Strengthens Bond with Local Elementary School through Math Olympics

Seniors Ashley Bua, left, and Erin Puschak work with Assumption students on the math tic-tac-toe portion of the Math Olympics.

News Story: April 23, 2014

Sacred Heart University’s Math Club recently held a “Math Olympics” on campus for students at Our Lady of the Assumption School in Fairfield. The event was geared towards elementary students from grades five through eight. Activities included relay races, math bingo, a tic-tac-toe race and other challenging math games.  

This program is just one component of the relationship that SHU’s math program has with Assumption. Student volunteers from SHU have been tutoring after school for the past two years. The Math Olympics event added to their goal of reinforcing the idea in the younger students that math is fun.

“This program was an absolute success. The hope is to make their math program stronger while providing valuable experiences for SHU students. The Math Olympics is a new piece of this program,” said Andrew Lazowski of Trumbull, math professor and adviser to the Math Club.

The success of this program was evident through the children’s enjoyment as well as the praise of Assumption parents and faculty alike. “Assumption officials told me that fourth-grade parents were jealous and can’t wait to send their children to this event next year,” added Lazowski, a Trumbull resident.  

This Math Olympics program was planned and implemented through the leadership of Math Club President Ashley Bua and Vice President Erin Puschak and involved about a dozen Sacred Heart students.

“The Math Olympics exceeded our expectations. The energy at the event was just phenomenal,” said Bua, a senior from Suffolk County, N.Y.

The SHU students enjoyed seeing the elementary students excited about math. “In our usual interactions with these students, we see them viewing math in a negative way and insisting that they will never use math in everyday life. This event served as a new way for the students to view math. They were applying what they had learned and—even better—they were having a blast doing it,” said Kura O’Driscoll ’14 from Yonkers, N.Y.

The Math team hopes that this pilot will be the beginning of an annual event with Assumption. “This is such a great connection for Sacred Heart University to have, and we look forward to seeing it grow in the future,” concluded Bua.