Many students (and parents) groan when they think about math. But the truth is, arming your child with a strong grasp of math will give them the tools they need to master concepts in other classes and in life. Think about it! Your child will need math knowledge to do well in science (especially physics and chemistry) and to do things in daily life, like calculate a tip.
That’s why National PTA and Mathnasium partnered in fall 2017 to award 35 local PTAs across 18 states with $1,000 to host a STEM + Families Math Night at their elementary schools. It’s time to teach families that math doesn’t have to be scary. STEM + Families Math Nights use fun games and materials to make math make sense. And they were a huge hit—over 9,500 students and parents attended these events last fall! Here are a few highlights.
Milwaukee French Immersion School PTA
Milwaukee French Immersion School PTA, located in Milwaukee, Wisc., was one of the lucky PTAs selected to host a local Math Night. Led by PTA leaders Rita Kerhin and Paul Post, the Math Night was an enormous success, with over 400 parents and students in attendance. In fact, turnout was so remarkable that the PTA leaders reported, “It far exceeded the attendance at any other academic night in the school’s history.”
Although an unexpected turnout can have its challenges, such was not the case with this amazing PTA. The longer lines at all of the stations created harmony! The PTA leaders said that, instead of complaining, “…families were introducing themselves to each other, exchanging contact information and making new friends.”
It was apparent that the benefits of this Math Night were both academic and social.
The kids enjoyed the evening so much that they didn’t want to leave.
Luckily, they have plans in place to host another STEM + Families Math Night with their local Mathnasium and Rita noted that “We can’t wait to do it again next year!”
Christie Elementary School PTA
Bad weather proved to be no match for the Math Night held at Christie Elementary School PTA, located in Plano, Texas. With a turnout of over 200 parents and students, PTA leaders witnessed many of their parents having an amazing time engaging in the interactive activities with their families.
Kristy Aragon, PTA Vice President of Programs gushed, “I couldn’t stop smiling at this event. I was so happy people came and the weather did not stop them from coming. Everyone was smiling and was having a great time. At the end of the night, everyone that walked out—parents and students—were so happy they came.”
Keheley Elementary School PTA
At Keheley Elementary School in Marietta, Georgia, over 450 parents and students attended a Math Night and this PTA is already looking ahead.
When asked about their interest in planning another STEM night, Brandy Medlin, a teacher and PTA member, stated, “Absolutely! The trick is trying to top this year! Thanks to the STEM + Families Math Grant provided by National PTA and Mathnasium, we could afford to add food and door prizes, plus local businesses donated items when they found out that we received a national grant! Thank you for giving our small school this big opportunity!”
In fact, the sentiment at Keheley was felt by ALL our Math Night hosts: 100% of the PTA Math Night grantees reported that they planned to do another STEM night in the future.
As you can see, hosting a STEM + Families Math Night is an excellent way to spark, inspire and engage students and their families in STEM education. For more information on how to host a STEM + Families Math Night in your community, visit PTA.org/STEM.