Beyond The Classroom
At CGA we encourage students to develop their interests outside the classroom by offering a variety of extracurricular activities. Through Crimson Community students can connect with others who have similar interests. If you love your math classes and numbers interest you, our Math Club is the perfect place for you to expand on your passion. Learn more about this club and how to join in on the fun!
The Math Club will help you enrich your maths knowledge by solving challenging and fun questions beyond the school curriculum. Students can receive weekly math homework support, and compete with their peers in quizzes and games.
As part of the club’s curriculum, students will explore concepts like Graph Theory (including the 7 bridges of Konigsberg), modular arithmetic (cryptography), and game theory. To further immerse in a particular topic/concept, students will deliver an interactive presentation to their peers as well.
Further, through the Maths Club you will discover how you can solve Olympiad maths questions. You will also have the opportunity to participate and represent CGA in maths competitions/olympiads such as the International Youth Math Challenge and Mathematical Kangaroo.
We are trying to build on 21st and 22nd century skills on top of studying for competitions, says club leader Vince Nguyen.
The Math Club is led by Vietnam-based Vince Nguyen. Vince is a certified educator by College Board, International Baccalaureate Organization, the UK Department of Education, and three states in the U.S. to conduct math instruction to secondary students, including AP and IB classes. He has over ten years of high school teaching experience. Vince holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from UCLA and an MBA from Grand Canyon University.
Throughout his teaching career, both in the U.S. and internationally, he has supported many students in reaching and achieving their goal of earning high scores on AP exams. In addition, Vince has led math competitions and AP Club sessions to aid and improve the confidence of students preparing for exams and competition.
In the beginning, Vince evaluates students to determine where they stand. This helps him build a foundation for the student and also allows the students to better participate in club activities. In each session, students learn about a new concept and use a variety of tools to dive further into the topic. Students are given a common problem to solve via Google Documents so Vince can see how they proceed in a problem in a collaborative manner. Tools like Gimkit and Desmos allow the students to work collaboratively in teams to solve problems and so encourage social interaction as well.
A lot of students want to join the Math Club to get their foundational skills stronger, so I encourage them to solve problems so they can learn while they work on the question, Vince adds. When I allow them to work together, maybe if somebody does something wrong, another person can jump in and say, I wonder if you can do it this way, or I suggest another approach. That way they feel like they have a support system for them.
Students can participate in a variety of math competitions and represent CGA. Currently the students are preparing for the American Math Competition. Due to Covid restrictions, the exams are proctored remotely.
There are 3 levels, the AMC 8/10/12 which have age requirements, but in rough terms:
These are really fun 25 question, 75 minute, multiple choice competitions that test your problem solving ability. Top scoring students on the AMC qualify for the AIME which is another top level competition. High scores on these competitions can be used on college applications.
Math is one of the fundamental skills that every student must have. While competitions can look good on university applications, there are also a lot of skills you will learn in the club that can be taken elsewhere. Even if you intend on pursuing a math-based pathway, these are skills that will help you in most other courses.
Students will also a learn a variety of techniques through the club. I started out teaching strategies for students taking the AP exams. Then I realized that students need similar strategies to solve math problems as well and that is what I am trying to teach them, says Vince.
Vince hopes to introduce the concept of transformations as the year progresses. This is the first step towards programming and design skills. CGA also offers the game development club that could be a natural transition for students from the Math Club.
Learn about CGA’s digital architecture pathway here.
Anyone interested in pursuing math outside of their school curriculum can join the club regardless of their ability. We have a mix of middle and high school students in the club. Vince evaluates students when they join the club to determine their level and ability to make sure they are being challenged sufficiently. The only thing you need is a computer and preferably a tablet to annotate on.
All you have to do is fill out a form and you will be on your way to coding. You have a choice to join either the Tuesday or Saturday class once a week.