Diane Rubin Service Award
The 2018 award application period is now closed. Good luck to all applicants!
The Rubin Award was established in 2004 by the Governing Council of Mu Alpha Theta to be presented annually. The award was named in honor of Diane Rubin who worked tirelessly at the National Office of Mu Alpha Theta for twenty years, before her retirement in December 2003.
The award will be presented to the Mu Alpha Theta chapter which has a history of outstanding mathematics service to its community for at least two years. This service must promote interest in mathematics and benefit a group other than its own chapter. In 2014, the award was changed from a $500 cash prize and a $2,500 Convention Grant to a cash prize of $2,500. Along with the $2,500 prize, a plaque will be presented to the winner. The award will be presented at the National Convention, but a representative of the chapter need not be present to win.
No school may receive the award more than once in a five year period.
Many chapters provide math enrichment activities to others. Thank you to all that tell us about these projects by applying for the Rubin Award. While only one school is our official winner, in reality, everyone wins when our chapters provide such great opportunities for others to enjoy and excel in math!
How To Apply
To be eligible, the chapter should print and submit the application form and should submit a maximum three page description of the mathematics service project(s), single-sided, double-spaced. The three pages may include pictures, news articles, or other printed visual information. Also include two supporting letters from someone on the receiving end of the project.
The application form and supporting information should be submitted to the National Office, postmarked no later than March 1st and mailed to:
Jump to Recipient by Year:
- School: Brewster High School
School Location: Brewster, NY
Brewster High School hosted their 9th annual Math-a-Thon to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital this year. The students at Brewster spend months planning for the event each year. The event is well respected in their community. The Math-a-Thon is open to 3rd graders from the district for the entire day. When the 3rd grade students sign up for the Math-a-Thon they enlist sponsors and gain donation for St. Jude's. Each year Brewster High School raises nearly $4,000 for St. Jude.
Along with hosting the annual Math-a-Thon Brewster High School's Mu Alpha Theta "adopts" a local family from the community during the holiday season. The chapter has been successful in providing families with everything on their wish list; including bicycles and computers!
The Mu Alpha Theta members at Brewster also collect new pajamas and children's books for The Pajama Program each year. This program delivers warm sleepwear and nurturing books to children in need. The program sends the donations to a local women's shelter.
- School: New Mexico Junior College
School Location: Hobbs, NM
New Mexico Junior College has celebrated Pi Day for the past 10 years. In 2015 they partnered with Community Drug Coalition of Lea County, who helped fund the event. The event was free and open to the community. NMJC had many donors including several pizza places, a car dealership and even an auto shop. They set up 19 math and science booths and attendees were given bingo cards upon arrival for a chance to win door prizes. This event brought in around 400 people!
Then in 2016 they held a two session celebration. The morning session have five classes of 5th graders, and the evening session was open to the community. They partnered again the Community Drug Coalition of Lea County and the DWI education program. NMJC delivered out 6,000 flyers to schools acoss the county and to many local businesses. NMJC's Mu Alpha Theta members stood in parking lots on weekend just to hand out more flyers and talk about the upcoming event. The moring sesson had 5th graders take a pre-test and then a post-test after they went over the topics covered by the event. The median post-test score was 73%! The evening session began and people started showing up to participate. 1357 people to be exact. There were also 81 volunteers. Each Pi Day has, and will continue to feature a multi colored, lanimated paper chain of the digits of pi, the chain was at 6000 in 2016.
Considering the great turnout that the previous two years had, NMJC knew that they would need a bigger venue. The main floor at the Lea County Event Center (167000 sq ft) was graciously donated for the cause. At the 2017 NMJC Pi Day event there was an astonishing 2,000+ attendees, 100 booths, free “pie” & free pizza.
More photos can be viewed by visiting their Facebook page.
- School: St. Thomas Aquinas High School
School Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- School: John A. Ferguson Senior High School
School Location: Miami, FL
John A. Ferguson provides free tutoring to all students. They also prepare the lowest 25% of students for their end-of-course math assessments at a nearby middle school. They are also involved with online tutoring through Study Buddy.
In 2015 they participated in a school-wide Halloween event where children in the community were invited for a night of fun. The Mu Alpha Theta students provided pre-made masks and art supplies for the children to decorate.
The chapter holds an annual math competition: The Middlementary Math Bonanza for fourth through eighth grade. All elementary and middle schools from the surrounding region are eligible to participate. They have individual and team round contests based on current math courses.
They hosted the seventh annual Ferguson February Regional FAMAT competition for high school students. They served over 1100 students, sponsors, and parents. They created exams, collected food to sell, and created posters that provided instructions to the crowds among many other tasks.
They started the first annual Peanut Butter and Jelly Club Wars this past year. The different clubs and organizations at John A. Ferguson all gather to compete. The goal is to see who will make the most peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in fifteen minutes. All of the sandwiches made are then sent to the Camillus House for the homeless.
- School: William P. Clements High School
School Location: Sugar Land, TX
The Mu Alpha Theta chapter at William P. Clements High School in Sugarland Texas was selected to be the recipient of the Rubin Award for 2014. They have promoted mathematics through its members’ passion for the subject, hosting competitions and local volunteering.
The Clements High School has hosted contests for all ages, from elementary to high school. They use a variety of formats, from established TMSCA/UIL guidelines to their own unique style depending on the contest and the competitors. They hold a competition every year that they are able, so that the students are provided an opportunity to develop and expression their passion for mathematics.
They have played an active role in Commonwealth Elementary school’s MathMasters program. They have sent volunteers to a monthly or bi-monthly meeting and the occasional Saturday practice to teach the elementary school students advanced mathematics. They have also sent volunteers to the Fort Settlement Middle School twice a week for up to three hours. These volunteers have helped out during competition math class and after school during practice.
- School: Buchholz High School
School Location: Gainesville, FL
The Buchholz High School chapter of Mu Alpha Theta has been devoted to spreading the joy of mathematics and to serving those in their community. They have hosted both the January Regional and the March Invitational for FAMAT. They were able to minimize their costs by getting test writers to write for free and by reusing old trophies. The math team also hosted a Math and Science Night at Rawlings Elementary School, in which they ran booths and activities for the children.
They were also able to raise over $7,000 to buy t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts that were distributed among the underprivileged elementary schools in the area.
The chapter also volunteers their time tutoring third and fourth graders at Duval Elementary School. In addtion, they tutor other high school students who need to or want to prepare for the next level of math courses.
They encourage students to attend Mu Alpha Theta competitions by helping send some middle school students to the competitions. They even arrange for charter buses for transportation, when needed.
- School: Grissom High School
School Location: Huntsville, AL
The Mu Alpha Theta chapter at Virgil I. Grissom High School is the 2012 Rubin Award winner. They participate in local and national competitions, as well as performing community service.
The volunteers from the chapter and the math team together orchestrate two math tournaments: The Rocket City Junior Math Mania, held at the U.S Space and Rocket Center, and the Grissom Math Tournament. Math Mania has been in existence for 5 years, while the Grissom Math Tournament has run for 35 years. This year Grissom Mu Alpha Theta partnered with the Huntsville Botanical Gardens and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and provided volunteers at the annual Galaxy of Lights for the holiday season.
The Rocket City Math League, funded by a grant from Mu Alpha Theta, has provided more than 3000 students each year with engaging challenges and fun. The Grissom math team members comprise the directors, level coordinators, test writers, and editors. They are in charge of distributing the tests, as well. The contest is of such high quality that Rocket City Math League tests featuring Mu Alpha Theta’s name will be on display at the Smithsonian as well as the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
The chapter developed math camps, such as Grissom Junior Math Explorers and the Grissom Junior Math Academy. These camps serve 1st through 5th grades, and 6th through 8th respectively. They connect children in the area with high school mentors. Each hour long session provides challenging math lessons and games. Each class has a ratio of five mentors per every fifteen students. Each of these camps has been a success and each child has the opportunity to discover just how fun math can be.
- School: Thomas Jefferson High School
School Location: Auburn, WA
Thomas Jefferson High School holds this year’s honor of being named the Rubin Award winner because of their consistent and outstanding mathematical service. They host four math competitions throughout the year: Mu Alpha Theta State, Fall Classic, the Federal Way Middle School Math Contest, and the Middle School Math Bonanza. These competitions bring together exceptional math students throughout the state and help to generate enthusiasm for mathematics.
The chapter sponsor practices every weekend with anyone who wishes to attend. Other sponsors are welcome to come and conference with the students. They meet with many of the elementary and middle school students and some high school students from surrounding schools on the weekends. The students are provided with fun and entertaining ways of problem solving, while at the same time preparing for various competitions or contests.
The chapter at Thomas Jefferson prides itself on being able to help others with mathematics. They helped the Lakota Middle School in preparations for their competitions twice a week. With their assistance the middle schoolers were able to strengthen their problem solving abilities and now hold a better appreciation for math.
- School: East Anchorage High School
School Location: Anchorage, AK
The 2010 Rubin Award winner is East Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska. Starting in the fall of 2005, the East Anchorage chapter provided support for students who had not passed the state required test of basic skills called the HSGQE (High School Graduation Qualifying Exam). They continue to hold this Math Camp each year since.
Math Camp is a math remediation program that would give intense peer tutoring before the next testing date for those juniors and seniors who had not passed previously. The camp is held on alternate Saturday mornings for a total of two hours with snacks provided. It became so popular with the students that the number of tutors had to increase to keep up with demand. Through their outreach the chapter members are more empathetic with those who struggle in math. As a result the tutors are learning better ways to improve their performance while the tutees are reaping the benefits and learning to comprehend mathematics, gain confidence in working with math, and diminishing the levels of frustration.