Math goddess creates new curriculum as sophomore

Kyrsten Brown and Averi Ward

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As a sophomore, Maggie Byers has done unpredictable things for the math curriculum.  For the second semester of her sophomore year, Byers has created a new curriculum for the mathematical part of schooling. Since she has taken all the math classes that are available at the school, the only way to receive another credit was to do something unheard of.  

Byers said, ” I was scheduled for structural engineering, and I wasn’t really interested in taking that class.” So, her counselor also gave her the option of creating her own elective, and she liked the idea of having this opportunity. Susan Traylor was one of the teachers who ran with Byers through this whole project. Traylor said, “This project allowed her to get a clear picture of the careers that she would be able to do research on and that there are more careers in math than just teaching.”

Byers’ primary goal was to learn about the different types of math that aren’t available in some of the regular math classes, and her secondary goal was learning about the different careers in the math field and exploring them. Byers said, “I definitely learned about some new math topics that I really didn’t understand before, but I also learned about non-math things. I learned how to manage my time and brainstorm more effectively. It’s much harder coming up with a project than I thought. This study took countless amounts of research on physics in ceramics, game theory, gerrymandering, and performance tasks to apply the ways math I used in different occupational fields.”

By the beginning of Byers’ junior year, she will completely be maxed out of math credits that are provided here. Byers said, “I know it sounds stupid, but I feel like I learned how to learn better than I did before. I now know how to find information on the internet better and how to use different mediums like moviemakers and Visme.”  Byers also said, “I would say that independent study is a different type of a class than I ever had before, and that you should really think about whether you want to be responsible for creating a course and a timeline. It was hard to make sure I stayed on a pace when I was never sure exactly what I would be doing next.”

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