Genesee Community College Math Club Hosts Poster Contest and Awards Prizes

The celebration of April being Mathematics Awareness Month culminated in a dynamic poster competition and exhibit now on display at Genesee Community College in the William B. Stuart Forum. The inaugural Math Poster Contest was sponsored by Genesee's Math Club with the goal of inspiring an appreciation for mathematics at the middle school grade level where students often lack a positive impression about math, which can negatively impact their achievement levels. By diminishing the notion that math is punishment at the 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels, more students may eventually pursue degrees and even jobs that require mathematics?leading them to a wider range of career options.

Following the theme "Math is Fun," contestants' posters were judged in four categories:

-Overall Impact - eye-catching appeal and visual attractiveness -Clarity - message's demonstration of how math can be fun-Appropriateness - graphics for the message being conveyed-Creativity - message used to illustrate that math is fun

Twenty-seven students entered the contest. It was open to all middle school students (grades 6-8) in Genesee County, and Elba Central, Leroy Central, and Oakfield-Alabama Central participated.

The 2004 Math is Fun Poster Contest Winners

PlaceName(s)GradeSchool DistrictPoster TitlePrize1st Place Lacey Morrow7Oakfield-AlabamaBlond Math$50.002nd Place Alicia Hough7Elba CentralMath is Fun$25.003rd Place Sara Urban,Cassandra Baubie & Danielle Hirtzel666Oakfield-Alabama1 Teacher + 1 Student = 2 X the Fun!$15.006th GradeHonorable Mention: Brittany McCarthy &Emily Mott6Oakfield-AlabamaMath MadnessCertificate 7th GradeHonorable Mention: Cara Monachino & Krista Call7Oakfield-AlabamaThe Official NBA Basketball CourtCertificate8th GradeHonorable Mention: Nichole Gentner (7th) & Jessie Barringer (8th)8Leroy CentralMath Is Fun and You Use It a TonCertificate

Other activities sponsored by the Genesee Community College Math Club include the New York State Mathematics Association for Two-Year Colleges' Math Contest (NYSMATYC) which occurs each fall semester and spring semester. The Math Club hosts a pizza lunch for those who participated, and distributes the awards and prizes for the NYSMATYC Math Contest at the same time. This year Math Club traveled to Buffalo to see the play "Proof" at Studio Arena. The play was a mystery about a proof found among a dead mathematician's papers and the question of whom to credit with originating this proof.

"Genesee's Math Club builds camaraderie among a wide range of students who are interested in both math and science," said Mary Knappen, a Mathematics Instructor at Genesee Community College. "This inaugural poster contest was their idea to help encourage young people to think about Math in a fun way and to take away any negative stigma the subject may have. So many rewarding careers have a foundation in mathematics that our students wanted to develop a positive impression of math for middle school students."

For further information about Genesee's Math Club and its many programs, please contact either Mary Knappen or Phil Pickering, Genesee Community College Mathematics Instructors at (585) 343-0055 (extensions 6382 or 6388, respectively) or email: or

Please note: A photograph of second place winner, Alicia Hough of Elba Central Schools, and Genesee's Mathematics Instructor, Ms. Mary Knappen, standing before Alicia's "Math is Fun" poster display is available at the following internet address: