Mount shares love of mathematics with elementary students, other majors

May 10, 2014

Newburgh, NY -

Knight Race 2014

The red team scrambles to solve a math problem at the Mount Saint Mary College Knight Race.

About 300 eager children of Pine Tree Elementary School in Monroe, N.Y. and their families had a blast with mathematics, thanks to dedicated pre-service teachers from Mount Saint Mary College.

Knight Race 2014 More than 30 Mount students lent their skills to the college’s latest Family Math Night, which featured activities designed for the second through fifth grade youngsters. The children were also given suggestions on how to continue the enrichment on their own.

Karen Borst of Levittown, N.Y. had students enthusiastically making and breaking secret codes through a quick study of cryptography; Mark Botta of Chester, N.Y. and Sarah Kelleher of Poughquag, N.Y. taught place values through building houses on “Even and Odd Street”; and Toni Navarro of Marlboro, N.Y. presented a shortest-route challenge with the maze-like “Robot Utopia.” Other activities included arts, crafts, and brainteasers of all kinds.

Right: Toni Navarro’s “Pac-Man”-like “Robot Utopia” gave students a shortest-route challenge with a sci-fi twist.

Faculty advisors for the event were Lee Fothergill and Kathleen Venable, mathematics; and Monica Merritt, education.

“Our future teachers are helping the students get excited about mathematics the same way we are,” said Fothergill.

Knight Race 2014 Monica Merritt added, “With the new Common Core math standards, parents more than ever are interested in creative ways to engage their students in mathematics.”

Held periodically at area schools, Family Math Nights give Mount students unique fieldwork experience as they serve their community.

Preparing the Mount’s pre-service math teachers is a top priority for Mount mathematics professors.

“The more often they’re in front of students, the more comfortable they are going to be in their student teaching and in their own classrooms,” said Fothergill.

Left: Mount mathematics major Taylor LoMeli of Patterson, N.Y., teaches a young student various applications of measuring.

Kathy Aldinger ’99, a second grade teacher at Pine Tree Elementary for 13 years, helped organize the event. Brian Giudice, principal, was pleased with the students’ great interest in the project.

Back on campus, Mount math enthusiasts exercised brain and brawn at the annual Knight Race, just a few short weeks before Mount Saint Mary College’s 2014 commencement this May.

Knight Race 2014 Anticipation filled the warm spring air as mathematics major Margaret Fallon of Norwalk, Conn. explained the rules.

Seven teams in color-coordinated athletic garb were given two hours to complete 10 mathematical challenges around the campus. With a ten minute limit per challenge, students had to hustle between stations to complete their tasks on time.

Strong faculty and small classes, along with state-of-the-art equipment, helps prepare Mount students for careers in educational technologies, networking, web technologies and more. For future math teachers, a SMART board develops skills required for New York State assessments.

Right: The purple team, led by Alexander Florez of Madison, N.J. (center, wearing headband) is off and running at the Mount’s recent Knight Race.

Students graduating with mathematics and information technology degrees work as financial analysts, actuaries, bank managers, statisticians, researchers, programmers, teachers and in other fields.

Read more about the Mount’s commitment to mathematics and the outstanding work of pre-service teachers in the Mount Saint Mary College Magazine: