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Student Establishes National Math Honor Society at RBR

Members of the RBR first National Math Honor Society Class

Little Silver:  Andrew Kamp of Shrewsbury observed that RBR offered many opportunities for students to excel academically including participation in numerous National Honor Societies. Counted among these are the generic National, as well as English, Spanish, French, Latin, Music, Art and even Technology Honor Societies.

“Practically every subject but Math,” Andrew mused, who is coincidently a member of the both the National and English Honor Societies but considers math and science his favorite subjects.

He made inquiries on how to start a chapter of the National Math Honor Society and was directed to the Mu Alpha Theta website.

Andrew comments, “I learned that I needed three things to establish the chapter, a minimum membership of 15 members, an advisor with a bachelor’s degree in Math, and seed money to start the organization.”

As a true mathematician, he solved the problem with great dispatch. He was able to secure starting costs from his Academy of Math & Science at RBR. His calculus teacher, Karen Laffey, agreed to advise the group. Additionally, Andrew recruited (not 15 but) 26 inaugural members and three associate members to the society, many of whom are his peers in the RBR Academy of Math & Science. Andrew also serves as the first president of the RBR chapter of Mu Alpha Theta. His executive board includes Vice President Ed Schembor, Treasurer Evie Athanasiou and Secretary Mike Reilly, also seniors.

At the first Math Honor Society Induction ceremony held at RBR in January of 2012, Karen Laffey acknowledged his efforts stating, “Without Andrew Kamp’s motivation and drive this day would not have happened.”

The Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society maintains a membership of 88,000 students in 1,800 high schools and two-year colleges throughout the United States. It provides math events and competitions to its members. Its requirements include maintaining a GPA of 85% or better in Honors Math and 90% in other math courses. Students are also expected to perform community service.

In RBR’s case, the National Math Honor Society offers after-school tutoring in math at the RBR Media Center. The chapter is also conducting a charity fundraiser with Shrewsbury’s Jersey Mike’s. Fifteen per cent of all sales after 4 pm are collected by the Math Honor Society for donation to prostate cancer research.

RBR Math and Science Adviser Susan Zielinski comments, “The establishment of Mu Alpha Theta is a wonderful way to recognize students who love math, and this inaugural group of students has worked hard to establish our chapter. They have been successful in a field that does not always have a beauty that is readily seen but, as Albert Einstein said, ‘Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.’"

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