Cougars and Houston Area Math Program
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Spring 2019 CHAMP Administrators. Left to Right: Skylar Mai, Mark Henry Atwood,
Malena Fassnacht, Shahzad Kalloo, Barbara Maldonado, Jacob Bradley,
Maria Lüdert, Greg Hemenway, Larry Guan, Juan Ramirez, Ahmed Abouseri

CHAMP Activities

There are two primary components to CHAMP: Math Lessons and Math Tutoring. In both components, CHAMP puts the high school and middle school students into direct contact with professors, graduate students, and undergraduates, all of whom serve as teachers and mentors.

Math Lessons: These lessons are not typical math classes or remedial math -- instead, they are designed to generate excitement, expose students to topics they often do not see in the classroom, and encourage the students to apply to college and major in a STEM discipline (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The lessons are designed to foster interaction through hands-on activities and discovery-based learning. Students frequently break into groups of 2 or 3 to work on problems and explore topics, and there are several professors, UH graduate students, and UH undergraduate who serve as facilitators to help with the activities. We also encourage students to explain their solutions to others and to develop effective communication skills when talking about technical subjects. In addition to the lessons, we also sometimes take field trips (e.g., to a Robotics lab) to show the students how math can be used in real-world situations or careers in industry.

The mathematics problems we give in lessons are designed to provide challenging, enriching experiences for students, while simultaneously building critical thinking skills. Often the problems we give seem more like puzzles or games than traditional math problems.

Some sample problems:
  1. If 10 people at a party each shake hands with every other person, how many handshakes occur?

  2. Is it possible to cover a chessboard with rectangles of size 3x1?

  3. If a disease infects 1 in 10,000 people, and you test positive for the disease using a test that is 99% accurate, what is the probability you actually have the disease? (Hint: It is not 99%.)
More problems and some complete lessons can be found among the materials on our Past Semesters Schedule Page.

Math Tutoring: CHAMP provides one-on-one tutoring during which the students can work on their math homework or prepare for college admissions exams, such as the ACT or SAT. Tutoring is staffed by volunteers, and several student organizations at the University of Houston regularly provide large numbers of volunteers.