Math mayhem: Students start Math Club on campus


Ryan Chin

Math club competes at AMC competition. The competition tests students advanced algebra, geometry, and trigonometry skills.

Katherine Dale, Editor

Posters line the walls, each one covered in puns and formulas. There is a teacher’s desk and a stack of warm, freshly printed notes on a side table. The room is full of concentrated glances and the sound of pencils scratching paper. Equations, exponents, calculators, and graphs: this list of random school items may seem unimportant to some, but for members of math club, this is their love language. This year, a new club that fills a previous void, invites  students to master intricate problems and share their passion for mathematics. 


“I was doing math UIL with Mr. Ortiz and the prompts on the test were more specific to a few topics.” Club president, Ryan Chin said, “So, I wanted to make our school more competitive and I decided to start a club to help people understand those topics.”


Math club doesn’t require participation in UIL mathematics, the club is open to anybody wanting to showcase their talents, practice their skills, or just learn from a community of fellow inquisitive minds. At math club, students work on handouts that focus on specific topics and listen to lectures provided by Chin and other members. 


“I like to write handouts, I’ve been writing handouts since mid-summer and I think that’s the fun part, I love being able to lecture the club.” Chin, a junior, said. 


Math club works to enrich students’ talents in math with the overall mission to be competitive at state-wide and national mathematics competitions. To Chin and other students at math club, they’ve cracked the code to making numbers on a page fun and engaging. 


“My first grade teacher started a math competition and I’m a very competitive person.” Junior and Vice President John Mcalinden said. “I was trying to master my addition tables and from there it just stuck.”


On top of lectures and handouts, math club competes at a series of competitions, such as the AMC 10/12 mathematics competition that took place on November 11. The American Mathematics Competition (AMC) is a test offered for students from 6th to12th grade. The high school version of the test features advanced algebra, geometry, and trigonometry questions and is designed to challenge even the most talented of students. Last year, only 3 students received a perfect score of 25 on the AMC 10A. This was the first opportunity of the year for the Vandy Math Club to showcase their fine-tuned skills.


“When I was taking the test I actually saw people from our school who I didn’t expect to see there. It was really cool and we started discussing our forms as a result.” Chin said.


Whether it’s planning on being a UIL champion or just looking for something to do during PIT, there may be a chance for a good sense of community at math club. 


“I feel like a lot of people aren’t very aware of competitive math, we’re just trying to raise awareness.” Mcalinden said.