BSGE’s middle school math team has been succeeding in numerous city and state math competitions this spring, led by Mr. Mehan. 8th graders Rachael Cheung, Christie Choi, SiLiang Lei and Christy Guan, as well as 7th grader Ahmed Shekani participated in the MathCounts citywide chapter competition on February 6th at IS 74, where the team won 2nd place. They moved on to the state finals, held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York on March 18th.
BSGE Wins the MoMathlon
On Monday, March 9, BSGE’s middle school math team tasted victory in the annual MoMathlon Tournament. The tournament, sponsored by the Museum of Mathematics, took place at Queens College on Kissena Boulevard. A total of 23 teams from different schools participated, comprised mostly of 7th and 8th graders. The schools included BSGE, 190 Russell Sage, 185 Edward Bleeker, and the Institute for Collaborative Education. The BSGE team, supervised by Mr. Mehan, had members who were chosen to compete based on the students’ achievements in the official Math Club meetings at BSGE. The meetings took place through the Math Olympiads, Rocket City Math League, New York State Math League, and the Mathematical Association of America. The cumulative achievements of the students in these meetings helped determine the team members who would participate in the tournament. “The kids were very excited about the opportunity. The smiles were on their faces at Queens College,” recalls Mr. Mehan.
The Great MoMathalon
On March 7th, five BSGE students from the Middle School Math Club participated in the Queens MoMathalon for the second time. The last time BSGE participated in this competition was in 2012, during which BSGE earned 5th place for group competition. BSGE did not compete in last year’s competition due to lack of preparation. However, this year, the BSGE Middle School Math Club has met every Thursday after eighth period. To decide who would be chosen to compete at the Queens MoMathalon, the Club organized small Math Olympiad competitions along with the AMC-8 and NYS Math League competitions during meetings. Based on students’ scores, five Math Club members were chosen to compete at Queens College for the MoMathalon. The five competitors were two seventh graders, Annie Zhang and Grace Choi , and three eighth graders, Arpita Nag, Nibras Islam and Alice Aronov.
This Fall saw the departure of one of BSGE’s favorite teachers – Adam Noor, who taught 10th grade trigonometry and 11th grade math studies for ten years. Mr. Noor, who left to take a job teaching in other parts of the world, was known for his easygoing attitude and sense of humor. Students were disappointed to hear he wouldn’t be teaching at BSGE this year, especially those who expected to be in his class. “It’s like no one is there to guide us,” said Stephanie Pichardo ‘16.
Mr. Noor was assigned a 10th grade advisory and three 10th grade trigonometry classes to teach this year. Although he was in the building for the first two weeks of school, a substitute took over afterwards until
Mr. Mehan’s Math Meets
Mr. Mehan runs a middle school math club for interested 7th and 8th graders. The club participated in multiple math competitions, and, as a whole, it performs well. The club meets on Friday afternoons, from 2:20 to 3:00, though it sometimes runs later than that.
There are two basic types of meets: official ones and unofficial ones. Official meets can involve one of three competitions. The first competition is the American Mathematics Competition for 8th grade (AMC 8). That competition involves very difficult multiple-choice questions. Students can take participate again in high school as Jim Napolitano gives students the AMC 12. The second competition the middle school math club does is the Math League. That one has 35 difficult multiple-choice questions. No student that participated got more than 29 correct. The third and most common type of official meet is the Math Olympiads. This includes 25 open-ended questions completed over 5 sessions with 5 questions per session, to be completed without a calculator. The unofficial meets are for MathCounts, which is a program that lets students develop their math skills while working together.
The math club this year is much larger than it was last year. Last year, the club was created for one competition over about two weeks in March and consisted of two 7th graders and three 8th graders. In contrast, this year’s meets have started in December. This year, there have been 20 people at the average official meet and 10 to 15 people at the average unofficial meet. Hopefully, the middle school math club will still be around and going strong next year with a new group of 7th graders.
As the BSGE community embraced a new and better school year, the new juniors and their teachers welcomed a changes to the IB curriculum for certain courses. With the introduction of such modifications, teachers and students alike have been adjusting to accommodate for the new assessments, topics and focuses.
The subject with the biggest changes in its curriculum was IB Math SL. The IB organization
Pi Day Celebrations
This March 14th, 2012 BSGE celebrated Pi Day like none other with Pi Day songs, games, presentations, food and of course, pie. Pi Day is a holiday committed to celebrating the mathematical constant of Pi, or 3.141596… It goes on forever. “Pi Day is the best day of the year. I love eating pie on that day. I learned how to find the circumference of an actual pie” commented an excited 9th grader, Christopher Birsan. Students got creative by writing new lyrics to familiar songs by artists such as Adele and Drake and turned it into a mathematical songs. Hopefully the BSGE tradition of celebrating Pi Day will keep on going. When asked for a comment on Pi Day, Mr. Mehan and Ms. Lambrini did not have a comment.
Why did you want to become a teacher?
Teaching found me. I was looking to make a change in my career, and New York City was in need of teachers. Several events came together, and I became a teacher.
How do you feel about working here for so long?
I did not realize that I had been here so long. Time really does fly when you enjoy what you do.
Why did you choose to work at BSGE?
I did not choose BSGE, BSGE chose me. I am very fortunate that they did.
BSGE’s middle school students finished 4th in the Museum of Math Queens Math Competition on Tuesday, March 13th. The math competition open to 7th and 8th graders across Queens took place in Queens College. Sponsored by Museum of Math (which is set to open in Manhattan later this year) and Con Edison, the competition accepted one team of 5 students (including both grades) from each participating middle school. BSGE’s team won 4th place out of the 25 schools involved.
A Letter from Ms. Hernandez
Hi BSGE students!
This is Ms. Hernandez. For those who don’t know me, I taught seventh and eighth grade math for many years at BSGE. I just wanted to say that it was a pleasure having a chance to teach so many of you at BSGE. I left BSGE to explore a new opportunity
but I will always treasure my experiences with you. I wish you all the best of luck! I hope you have a successful year. Thanks to the BaccRag staff for allowing me to do this!
When did you start teaching?
I started teaching in 2002.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
When I was younger I really wanted to be a doctor.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Astoria, around Ditmars Blvd. Steinway Street area.
What hobbies do you have?
I like to play video games.
How old were you when you wanted to be a teacher?
I was about 24 years old. I was working in Business, I wanted to do something to give back to society. I was good at
On March 14, Ms Hernandez and Ms Lambrini’s Math students in 7 and 8 grade celebrated Pi day. This day is known as Pi day because of the first three digits of Pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, are 3.14. Some people mistakenly think the day is a celebration of pie not of a math constant. It turns out that March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday, a further cause for celebration. Students brought in chips, cookies, munchkins, soda and juice, and of course, pie to celebrate the occasions. Students prepared projects in their groups such as plays, poems, the History of Pi, and a presentation on Albert Einstein. Students also memorized Pi to at least 30 digits (Pi is an infinite series of numbers), read a