The new Westfield Math Honors Society offers collaboration among students
February 3, 2023
Riddle Me That - Mu Alpha Theta President Gabby Wheeler (12) leads the inspiring induction into the Math Honors Society.
The Mu Alpha Theta Chapter of Westfield High School, or the Math Honor Society, has recently started up this school year for students to share their passion for math.
Gabrielle Wheeler (12) founded the club alongside Mrs. Robyn Pagington, a Geometry and Calculus teacher. Wheeler shares what the beginning stages looked like and why she felt inspired to tackle the project.
“I founded Mu Alpha Theta… because I wanted to allow students here to explore math through community and competition,” Wheeler said. “I’ve always been very passionate about math and looked forward to the opportunity to share that with others.”
Wheeler accredits a lot of the start-up process to Mrs. Pagington.
“[Wheeler] talked to Mr. Frederick and Mrs. Gibbs about starting the club and found other students that were interested,” Pagington said. “Then, she asked me to be the sponsor. We researched the national organization chapter requirements online and then determined what our requirements would be at WHS. We then started advertising a call-out meeting and sent messages to juniors and seniors that are in higher-level math courses. We also asked math teachers to advertise the club. Students then filled out a Google form saying if they were interested in joining the math club or applying for the math honor society.”
According to Pagington, the students then had to fill out the form to be inducted into the society in November 2022 so long as they met the requirements. Pagington further explains that the club is a great opportunity for everyone.
“Our officers have the opportunity to gain leadership experience,” Pagington said. “All the students have the opportunity to gain speaking experience since we encourage students to do a 5-10 minute presentation at a meeting on a math topic of their choosing. Students also work on a challenge question of the day or math contest practice at the meetings. It is a great time for them to collaborate and work together.”
Mu Alpha Theta focuses on the student voice. Wheeler says they are trying to shift towards a new structure for meetings.
“We meet once a month, and meetings are transitioning to be member-led,” Wheeler said. “Students create presentations on math topics, careers, or riddles and share them with the club.”
As a member of the club, Delainey Wallace (12) says she had wanted to be a part of an academic club, and she hopes to become more involved throughout the year. Wallace further explains her experience.
“My favorite part about being in the club is getting to explore aspects of math we don’t typically see in the classroom, where it’s more outside-the-box thinking with different puzzle-like aspects,” Wallace said. While the start-up process was a project to be tackled, Wheeler says she has gained valuable knowledge.
“I have learned a lot about the leadership process, but my work to start Mu Alpha Theta has been so rewarding as I’ve gotten to see our inaugural class join this international society and begin competing in math contests,” Wheeler said.