Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Math, Life Lessons Lead Class in Gambling

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Math, Life Lessons Lead Class in Gambling

Article excerpt

After spending last Thursday morning gambling with fake money in a mock casino in North Hills Middle School's all-purpose room, 13- year-old Lexi Mandell of Ross concluded, "Gambling's not for me. I never win."

That was just the lesson North Hills math teacher Jennifer Staudt hoped her students would learn.

"We're teaching these kids that when it comes to gambling, you'll always lose more than you win," she said.

The casino was part of The Allegheny Math Partnership's Middle School Probability/Computer Exploration Fair, which is held every other year for middle school students. Approximately 90 students from North Hills, Avonworth and Riverside played a variety of games intended to teach them a lesson about gambling that they won't ever forget.

The Partnership consists of math teachers from Avonworth, North Hills, Mars Area, Meadville, Riverside, Hampton, North Allegheny and Allegheny Valley who exchange ideas and discuss topics such as assessments and curriculum regarding high school and junior high math. On alternative years, the group holds a senior math tournament in North Park.

The variety of skill and luck-based games at the fair were designed and run by former and current North Hills and Avonworth advanced placement statistics students. The students also utilized software to develop animated computer projects.

"It's nice that we're actually using a project that ties into the AP statistics curriculum," said Avonworth High School math teacher Derek Johncour. "It's as informational as it is fun."

Avonworth seventh-graders Tess Theobald and Michael Donovan said they were impressed that learning could be so enjoyable and so addictive.

"I've been playing basketball and making bets, which is way more fun than going to school," Michael said.

Tess said she had an even greater appreciation that she was learning so much and having fun at the same time. …

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