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Faculty Service Brings Math Event to Local Students

Dawson Math CompetitionWith days filled with teaching and research, a call to aid a local school teacher may seem like a burden. But for COE faculty, service is often the icing on the cake – it’s an opportunity to bring together the philosophical with the practical, giving education students real-world experience and helping the community at the same time.

That’s how dozens of Bulloch County elementary school children were able to participate in their first math competition this spring.

 It wouldn’t have happened without COE’s Dr. Julie Maudlin, Assistant Professor in Teaching and Learning, who was approached by two elementary school teachers to help structure a math tournament. The teachers had been unable to find an elementary-level math competition in the state. “I thought it was a great idea to get third and fourth graders involved in the kind of competitions offered for older students,” Dr. Maudlin said. She developed the competition tests and guidelines and created practice packets which were shared with teachers. Dr. Maudlin not only brought structure and assessment to the competition, she recruited other COE faculty to serve as judges and brought students in to act as runners, proctors and facilitators.

The event was the first Reggie Dawson Memorial Math Competition at Julia P. Bryant Elementary School. Another elementary school, Sallie Zetterower, participated in the competition. Assistant superintendent of Bulloch County, Dr. Jody Woodrum, also assisted in getting the event off the ground, and the Bulloch County Foundation awarded grants to help cover expenses. The event was named in memory of Reggie Dawson, a Statesboro High School business teacher.

Competitors were given tee-shirts with “Start Loving Math! It gives every reason to hope that all problems have a solution,” emblazoned on the back.

Service a burden? Hardly. Dr. Maudlin is gearing up for next year’s competition!

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