County Central High Schoool in Vulcan hosted a SNAP Math Fair last week, and approximately 350 students and community members attended. Students devised math puzzles, and attendees were invited to use their practical math skills to solve them. SNAP stands for Student-centered, Non-competitive, All-inclusive, and Problem-based.
Christina Richmond, a teacher at County Central High School, conceived the idea of hosting the fair to enhance the students' learning experience and extend it beyond the classroom walls. "I have been working hard in my classroom to foster a culture of inquiry and perseverance, encouraging students to delve deeper and establish real-world connections to math and numeracy. This SNAP Math Fair aligns perfectly with that mindset," says Richmond.
Math can be a subject that causes stress for some students, but approaching it with curiosity and inquiry can help alleviate the fear. "I believe math becomes much more enjoyable for students when it becomes accessible to them. The concept behind each puzzle was that it could be solved in multiple ways, using a few steps or many steps, and regardless of the approach taken, with or without hints, finding a solution was considered a success”, notes Richmond.
Exploring math with a sense of fun also provided an excellent opportunity to engage parents, families, and the broader community. "One of the easiest ways, in my opinion, to foster this connection is by involving our students in the community and welcoming community members into our school. Both of these objectives were made possible through the SNAP Math Fair," says Richmond.