Last summer I was invited to give a three day workshop in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to help a group called “Unpossible” start their own math circle. I’m pleased to announce that the “Math Circle of St. John’s” has opened operations. A news article from their local Canadian paper says, “The new-to-St. John’s program is inspired by Math Circles of Chicago, an organization that offers sessions where students learn about mathematical ideas that don’t typically get addressed in the school curriculum. They aim to create collaborative environments where students learn by working together.”
A few days after my friend Sarah Smellie from Unpossible shared this news with me, I got the following email:
Hope all is well in Chicago.
The Yellowknife Math Circle had its first meeting this week with a dozen students in grades 5-6, thanks in no small part to the all of the great information shared this summer in St. John’s. I ran an original lesson on base-n number systems with connections to finger binary counting and computers, and It went well. I see that MCC is still stockpiling year-2 lessons for the Haynes group – would you like me to write up this one?
For those not familiar with Yellowknife (I was not), you might want to check out this map or see the image at right. It’s the better part of the way across Canada from Newfoundland to Alaska (the Newfoundland to Yellowknife to Chicago drive is, according to google maps, a mere 128 hours). The reach of the Math Circles of Chicago has grown farther than I ever could have imagined. Better still, we are now collaborating with a literally far ranging group of math circle leaders, sharing and receiving new ideas, which will only mean better math circles for all concerned.
Congratulations to my colleagues Colin Kennedy, Sarah Smellie and all my new Newfoundland friends!