The Diane Rubin Service Award
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:
Mu Alpha Theta
c/o University of Oklahoma
3200 Marshall Ave, Suite 190
Norman, OK 73019
Jump to Recipient by Year:
- School: St. Thomas Aquinas High School
School Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- School: John A. Ferguson Senior High School
School Location: Miami, FL
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.
- School: Columbus High School
School Location: Columbus, GA
The Columbus High School chapter received the Rubin Award for 2009. They hold two math tournaments annually, one for an elementary school and one for a middle school, with a format similar to most high school math tournaments. The Mu Alpha Theta students compete each year to submit a t-shirt design for the tournament. Each tournament participant receives one of the t-shirts along with a certificate.
The tournaments are both funded by SAT math prep workshops that are hosted twice a year by Mrs. Atkins, the Mu Alpha Theta chapter sponsor. All of her Mu Alpha Theta members contribute by creating tests and ciphering questions, proofing tournament materials, proctoring tests, and serving as “runners” during the ciphering competition.
The chapter also runs the SAT workshops and Outpost Tutoring services for middle school students. The SAT workshops provid students the opportunity to review SAT math concepts six weeks before an exam. Students from schools throughout the community join in. The Outpost Tutoring has benefited everyone involved. The middle school teachers have tutors who are able to help their students when needed. Chapter members show excellent enthusiasm when it comes to sharing and promoting mathematics.
- School: Lakota West High School
School Location: West Chester, OH
Lakota West High School has hosted and administered an annual contest since the establishment of the school. The contest, originally named the Junior High Math Competition, is now for 4h through 8th graders, throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. The contest was renamed the Mighty Mu Competition in 2006. The Mu Alpha Theta members write the test questions, send out invitations, proctor the tests, distribute the awards, and organize entertainment. The contest provides an opportunity to explore different realms of contest math, share mathematical interests, and learn the value of the intricacies of mathematics.
LWHS promotes mathematics to elementary and junior high students, as well as high schools, through a variety of math contests like the Rose Hulman and the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics Contest (OCTM). As an independent testing site for Rose Hulman, they administer the 30 question, 60 minute test, grade the tests, and present the prizes and certificates. It is an opportunity for students of all skill levels to test their abilities, and meet other students who have similar interests. As the annual OCTM contest site, students of all backgrounds can compete among the best young mathematicians in the state. The top 100 are then invited to the Ohio High School Mathematics Invitational Olympiad in Columbus for a more challenging contest. These contests and activities allow students to appreciate and love math.
- School: Illinois Math & Science Academy
School Location: Aurora, IL
The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy’s chapter of Mu Alpha Theta hosts the annual Junior High Math Contest, which serves over twenty middle/junior high schools. The Mu Alpha Theta members apply to serve as the question- writing and publicity chairs, and they coordinate this event all throughout the year. The practice and competition questions are completely student written, edited and chosen, then reviewed by faculty. The problems tend to be challenging and thought-provoking because many of the writers compete in mathematics competitions themselves. They work with the chapter faculty sponsors to reserve the rooms, contact food suppliers, order trophies, create T-shirts, and organize the event.
The Mu Alpha Theta members volunteer their time for the JHMC by assisting the guests in navigating the building, proctoring all contest rooms, serving as runners, grading the completed tests, and electronically recording results. They also assist in IMSA student-led tours of the campus while graders tally the results. Hundreds of students from surrounding schools attend this event every year. Due to its low cost, some schools participate in the Junior High Math Contest every year.
- School: Vero Beach High School
School Location: Vero Beach, FL
Vero Beach High School’s math team values honor, excellence, and service. They have hosted a free competition for elementary and middle school students in Indian River County. The Mighty Mu competition has provided their community with an amazing learning opportunity for its students. The competition has individual and team components for students in the fourth through eighth grades from all the schools in their county.
The Mu Alpha Theta members write and edit the tests, order the trophies, proctor the exams, run and organize the team rounds, and make lasting memories with new friends from all over the county. The students also tutor the sixth through eighth grades at Oslo Middle School every week. They are dedicated to not only their team, but to the younger students who have learned to depend on them for their knowledge of mathematics.
- School: Miami Springs Senior High School School Location: Miami Springs, FL
The Miami Springs Senior High chapter of Mu Alpha Theta has been dedicated to community service for many years. They have three main annual projects: The Holiday Door Decoration Contest at Fair Havens Nursing Home, a patriotism project, and donating Thanksgiving baskets to needy families in the community.
The Holiday Door Decoration has been the longest running project to date. They organize a contest at the high school between clubs and classes with each participant creating a door-sized holiday decoration. After the judging has taken place, the Mu Alpha Theta members take the decorations to the local nursing home and decorate the dining hall before the holiday to bring cheer to the residents and employees.
The patriotism project started when several members of Mu Alpha Theta had graduated and started a career of service in the military. The Math club would collect and distribute letters and cards for the soldiers who had been members of Mu Alpha Theta. This project soon expanded to include all military service men and women who had graduated from their school. These military personnel are at times invited to speak to the students at the MSSH.
The Thanksgiving holiday can be hard on a family if they are in need. The chapter at MSSH donates baskets of food items to those who are struggling as a way to give back to the community that they love. The baskets and items are all donated, decorated, and delivered to the organization for distribution by the chapter members.
Chapter members participate in other community projects as the need arises. They have volunteered at the Hurricane Relief Center in Opa Locka, in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew. They collected used eyeglasses for the University of Miami Medical Center, as well as bags of clothing to be donated to the victims of the hurricane in Haiti. They have donated schools supplies to Needy Kids of Jamaica and donated cellphones to the Cellphones for Soldiers campaign.