Math Academy Multiplies Success Thanks to PUSD, Private Partners

Pasadena High School Math Academy sophomore Colby Roberts maps out a college-level applied mathematics problem, with instructor Hiren Maharaj advising. David Gieselman, George Meza and Riley Paddock look on as they await their turn at the whiteboard.
Photo courtesy Robert Paz
Pasadena High School Math Academy sophomore Colby Roberts maps out a college-level applied mathematics problem, with instructor Hiren Maharaj advising. David Gieselman, George Meza and Riley Paddock look on as they await their turn at the whiteboard.

When Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Brian McDonald dropped in at McKinley School some years back to visit an informal 5th-grade math club, run by local parents Jason and Sandy Roberts as an extension of the math field day they had been recruited for, he stopped in his tracks. Continue reading “Math Academy Multiplies Success Thanks to PUSD, Private Partners”

PCR Math Whizzes Earn Perfect Scores

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Palm Crest Elementary’s Blake Chang, Neal Frankenberg and Thomas Sorensen all scored a perfect 25 on this year’s Math Olympiad for Elementary and Middle Schools testing.

A trio of math virtuosos at Palm Crest Elementary School recently pulled off a mind-boggling feat: They all achieved a perfect score of 25 on this year’s Math Olympiad for Elementary and Middle Schools testing, for which they will be recognized with the Lenchner Medal, the award named after the late founder of the program.
Of 90,000 4th-, 5th- and 6th-grade students who participated internationally in 2016-17, only 155 earned perfect scores, “a highly improbable 0.2%,” as parent Sugi Sorensen put it.
This year, PCR 6th-graders Blake Chang, Neal Frankenberg and Thomas Sorensen all did it — and then downplayed their accomplishment, which was achieved over the course of five individual five-question tests taken over the span of five months. Continue reading “PCR Math Whizzes Earn Perfect Scores”

PUSD’s Math Academy Brimming With Exponentials

Sandy and Jason Roberts
Sandy and Jason Roberts

The thing about a great idea is nobody knows they need it until it exists.
Such was the case for Math Academy at Pasadena Unified School District, an advanced math program that is guiding its students to complete AP calculus in 8th grade so they can dedicate high school to college-level proof-based mathematics, including investigative research of probabilities and abstract formulas. By the end of high school, in fact, students might finish the equivalent of three quarters of an undergraduate mathematics degree.
Jason and Sandy Roberts, the parent volunteers and founders of Math Academy, know that the success of their great idea lies in its execution. The two are working diligently with the district to build the curriculum capable of incubating as many as 250 math students in one school year — “our own mini-CalTech,” quipped Jason — with 50 graduating each year from Pasadena High School Math Academy.
Continue reading “PUSD’s Math Academy Brimming With Exponentials”