We all understand the importance of math and science. Many people, myself included, wish we had spent more time in school studying these subjects. Students who do really well in these subjects are better prepared for life’s challenges. In fact, eighth-grade math proficiency is a key indicator of whether a student will graduate from college and join the workforce. So the question is how do you increase interest in math and science for a bunch of junior high kids?
The answer is…a Murder Mystery Math and Science Night for students and their families!
It started with a month-long murder mystery game of Clue, called “Who killed Mr. Bell?” (our principal). Administration, teachers, and staff all got involved. Was it Ms. Healton with the sharp straightedge triangle in the library? Or, did Ms. Bessesen do it in the basement with a hockey stick? All the excitement leads up to a very successful Math and Science Night. Parents and families were invited to participate with their student and join in the activities. Tables were set up around the gym, science teachers made slime, math teachers played with tangrams and pentominoes, and engineering students from the University of Utah joined in the fun. Students and families went table-to-table playing games, solving the puzzles, and getting a new clue that would lead them to the “killer.”
The goal of this night was to increase interest in math and science so that students can see that everything they learn in a classroom has real-world applications. In addition, parents and families were able to connect with the school and teachers after school hours in a fun environment!
Kearns Jr. is not just a school, it is a community full of caring teachers and administrators who would do almost anything to have their students succeed, even if it means being a little silly. In the end, they have not only met their goal of increased interest in math and science, they have created a memorable experience for everyone.
Just in case you are wondering…it was Mr. Nigbur in the custodial closet with poison!