Posts Tagged ‘ math ’

Pink Diplomas: Gender Bias in Upper-Division Math and Science

By Amanda Bertsch

This essay was written for Tri-City Prep’s Math Honors class, which asks students each spring to write a paper on a topic in mathematics.

“What are you even doing here? You belong in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.”

These are the words that greeted Eileen Bertsch when she went to ask her calculus TA a question. Shocked, she didn’t respond, walking away without the answer to her query (Bertsch). The year was 1980.

Almost a century after the first women graduated from engineering programs, she was facing some of the same blunt rejection that these pioneering women engineers struggled through. As a freshman in college, she was hearing the same sexist rhetoric that had persisted for decades, still as sharply obvious as ever. Her calculus TA, while a particularly blatant example of why women are underrepresented in engineering, was only one of a series of challenges she and her sister Patricia Haslach would face as they earned engineering degrees. Continue reading


Pi Day at TCP

By Amanda Bertsch


Today was International Pi Day, and so of course Tri-City got in on the celebration. The day was a series of activities and contests hosted by the math honor society Mu Alpha Theta. While Pi Day is always March 14th (3/14, symbolizing the first three digits of pi), it usually falls over TCP’s Spring Break. However, this year the dates aligned and the school was able to celebrate on the correct day.

The irrational constant pi represents the relationship between the circumference of a circle and its diameter; humans have been attempting to measure this relationship for at least 3,500 years. The Babylonians believed pi was about 3.125, while ancient Egyptians measured it at 3.16 and the Bible mentions the relationship as approximately 3. The ancient Greek Archimedes was the first to come close to the actual value, estimating it as somewhere between 3.1408 and 3.14285 (the actual value is 3.14159265…). Continue reading

Managing Math: 5 Tips to Ace Your Math Classes

By Amanda Bertsch


Math: most people at least dislike it. Some have grown to hate it. But, managed properly, your math classes don’t have to be report card monsters. Try these simple tips to improve your math confidence and grades.

  1. Get an early start: If your algebra II homework is painful to do during the day, it’s only going to get worse after 10:00 pm. Do that hated worksheet or problem set before homework from other classes, and you’ll concentrate more and do a better job. This can turn your dreaded homework into easy points.
  2. Ask questions: You can’t learn something if you don’t ask questions! When you’re doing homework, star any questions you don’t understand so you can ask about them the next day. Make sure to pay attention in class, and don’t be afraid to ask the teacher to repeat an explanation or problem that you don’t understand. They’re here to help you, after all.
  3. Study well: Many people struggle with studying for math because they don’t know how to study effectively. Memorizing formulas is a must, and reading over notes does help, but the best way to study math is to do practice problems. Use the review at the back of the chapter or do the problems with answers in the back. Pick the hardest, ugliest-looking problems and work them out, and you’ll excel on the easier test questions.
  4. Take advantage of tutoring: Mu Alpha Theta offers tutoring all the time, so why not take advantage of it? Tutors are available in Ms. Mezeske’s room or in the library on Thursday mornings. If one person has been particularly helpful, you can check the schedules posted in the math classrooms to see when they’ll be tutoring or ask that person to meet with you personally. They would be glad to help.
  5. Look online for help: The internet isn’t just for procrastination—it has a number of excellent resources as well. When you need another review of a lesson, Khan Academy ( has lectures covering concepts from basic counting to advanced calculus. If you want to check an answer, Wolfram Alpha ( will solve just about any problem.

Math isn’t for everyone, but you don’t have to love the subject to do extremely well in it. Take advantage of these tips, and you’ll see your math grades improve drastically!

Tri-City Sweeps 2016 Yavapai County Math Competition

By Djanice Azevedo

As we all know here at Tri-City, we are all very proud of our academics. All our hard work paid off at the Yavapai County Math Competition on Thursday, January 28th. This year, we went home with an abundance of awards.

The completion included a group and individual component. Everyone took an individual test, which was graded based on level of math (e.g., geometry or algebra 2) and overall. Awards were given for the top five students in each level and the top ten overall, as well as for the top three schools in each area.

At this competition, Tri-City took 9 of the level awards and scored in the top three overall schools at each level. For level one (algebra 1), Tristan Hogan got 1st, and we took first overall. For level two (geometry), Ethan Kraft scored 5th and we received third overall. For level three (algebra 2), we had Sophia in 1st, Kim in 2nd, and Courtney in 5th, and we scored first overall. For level four (pre-calculus), we had Colter score 3rd and we took third overall. Finally, for level five (calculus and beyond), we had Kaleb Lyonnais in 2nd, Amanda Bertsch in 3rd, and Brent Sherwood in 5th and we got second place overall.

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