Crossroads News

Making an Impact With Middle School Math

Seventh graders’ event-planning projects focus on raising awareness and aid.
Middle School teacher Lori Reardon’s seventh-grade math class demonstrated how abstract equations have real-world applications in their recent event-planning projects. For the assignment, each small group chose a social issue in need of financial support and then used their math skills to plan, budget and design a fundraising event.
“We often say that a Crossroads education ‘prepares students to commit themselves to lives that value community, justice and activism,’” Lori reflected after the students’ presentations. “I was so impressed with, and felt really proud of how, the kids are really doing that.”
For their project, Sarina Braun (the group’s architect), Krishu Chopra (the CEO), Caroline Farnsworth (the graphic designer) and Siân Smith (the caterer) focused on ending hunger. After sharing statistics about this global issue, they outlined the various steps they would take to create a successful fundraising event: choosing, designing and decorating an event space (a go-kart race track); determining the number of attendees (108) and cost per ticket ($80); and developing a budget-friendly menu (Rice Krispie treats, chocolate truffles, banana muffins and lemonade). In doing so, they showed their proficiency in using multiple platforms and applications, including Excel, Tinkercad, Minecraft and even good old-fashioned pencil and graph paper.
Following the presentation, the rest of the class offered “warm” feedback about the group’s work. Lyra Majumdar—who partnered with Ayla Croshere, Dash Kemper and Norah Hamilton to deliver an equally effective presentation on the plight of migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border—was struck by the opening use of statistics in the presentation on hunger. 
“It reminds everyone that we are doing these events for fundraising purposes,” said Lyra. “It’s not just about a slideshow or completing a math grade. ... It brought a lot of attention to the devastation that global hunger is doing and how horrifying the statistics are related to it. So I thought that was very impressive.”
Click here to view two of the group presentations.