Members of the Alpine School District accept a big check from IM Flash to support math programs in the high schools. | Courtesy of IM Flash

IM Flash Technologies recently donated $150,000 to the Alpine School District (ASD) to help boost math education in the eight high schools within the district. This is the sixth year that IM Flash has contributed money to the math education in ASD, and their involvement doesn’t stop with handing over the check.

IM Flash stipulates that the money they donate be used for two purposes; to increase the performance and learning in math for all students, and to encourage promising math students to continue their high school math studies into college and university programs. The high schools within Alpine School District have latitude to use the funds if they meet the criteria.

Thanks to the math grant, each high school in ASD has a math club. The clubs meet monthly for activities and field trips to different industries and universities. There are competitions and challenges between the high school math clubs. They’ve done scavenger hunts where the clues are math problems and relay races where they solve problems before handing off to the next person. The winners of these events get prizes and even small scholarships in some cases.

The most popular competition is the one hosted by IM Flash. The engineering department at IM Flash comes up with realistic scenarios for the students to work through. IM Flash has been an active participant in the math programs in ASD.

“Some of the math clubs have more than 100 students in them. It’s surprisingly popular,” said Steve Jackson, Secondary Math Specialist at Alpine School District. “Last year we had 1,431 tutoring hours and 5,607 students who got help. None of that would be available without this grant.”

Besides the math clubs, competitions and tutoring, the IM Flash donation also supports sending between 10 and 13 top math students from high schools in the ASD to the prestigious Park City Mathematics Institute for a week during the summer. Those students get to work with some of the best mathematicians in the world working on cutting edge projects. Another program that gets support from the IM Flash grant is a summer course for students going into seventh grade to help build their basic math skills and prepare them to be successful in junior high.