Don’t let the stress of math let you feel discouraged

Amber Stafford

Assignment Editor

Graphic Courtesy of



Professors of Mathematics Jack Moeller and Andrea Xeriland held a workshop on Sept. 20 to give students tips on how to avoid math anxiety.

The professors began the workshop with a “math quiz” made up of two questions. Students had to list the best adjective to describe math and brief an explanation of why they chose that particular adjective.

“Math anxiety needs to be talked about, given students overall common problems, and overtime give students a desire to deal with it,” said Professor Moeller.

Over forty people attended the workshop, filling the room past capacity. With such high attendance, many students are recognizing that math anxiety is common, and come to these kinds of workshops.

“The workshop was one the best turnouts since school started,” said the Director of Student Success and Retention Initiatives, Melissa Leon Guerrero.

Some of the key points in the presentation were math myths and a discussion about the math gene. The fact is, there is no “math gene”. Math takes practice and training just like any other skill.

“There is no math gene, it is a skill you have to learn,” said Professor Xeriland.

A few steps for overcoming math anxiety, is to acknowledge and understand your anxiety, learn the language of mathematics, learn from your mistakes, stay on top of your homework, and go to class every day. Lastly, the most important step is to be positive!

The next Student Success workshop will be Note Taking. It will take place 3-4 p.m. on Oct. 3 in Student Center, Tinker Terrace room


What’s your level of math anxiety? Not sure? Try this test.

STEM programs crucial to the future

Jennifer Byrd

Volunteer Writer 

Logan Brown shows off this physics project concerning electro-magnetic energy. Photo by Dennis Gosnell


Cell phones, computers, automobiles, and the energy that powers them are just a few of the products that are produced that require Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) knowledge.

STEM fields are crucial in our rapidly advancing technological world. Without the students, educators and employees that work in these areas, we would not have any of the luxuries we have today.

The problem currently being addressed by educators and politicians is the rapid decline in the U.S., standing as a STEM leader. According to the World Economic Forum, the U.S. is currently 52nd in the world for quality of Science and Math Education, and a declining seventh in overall global competiveness. In stark contrast, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects STEM jobs to grow 17 percent between 2011 and 2021, with seven of the ten fastest growing occupations being STEM related.

To combat this issue, RSC Science and Engineering Dean, Dr. Wayne Jones, along with advisor Nick Bastani, have become active in creating STEM awareness in Oklahoma. According to Jones, to resume our role as technological leaders society as a whole needs a background in STEM.

Some of the ways RSC is involved with such an initiative include the 19 degrees in STEM related fields, on campus workshops, and reaching out to the younger generation that will one day become STEM leaders.

Some past projects include Teacher Workshops, the First Annual Central Oklahoma Science and Engineering Festival, and the annual summer event, Kids College. This summer over 1,600 students attended 135 classes, with many of those classes being STEM related.

It is crucial to get the future leaders of America interested in STEM at a young age. Many children love their video games, but not as many understand the technology that makes them function. To help spark their interest, RSC holds a Science Fair every year during the Spring semester for grades K-12. Jones and Bastani, also serve on the Boards at Northeast Academy for Health Sciences and Engineering, working closely with a group of young people that are about to enter college in STEM programs.

The coming decade appears to be a make or break it time for the U.S. in reference to our global impact in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It is up to every single American to become active and encourage the youth around them to participate in these subjects.

Mr. Bastani realizes the importance of each individual in making a difference.

“As a nation we can no longer afford to be just an end user,” Bastani said.

By 15th Street News Posted in Raider Life Tagged Central Oklahoma Science And Engineering Festival, Engineering, global competiveness, kids college, , , , STEM,

Math workshop, dividing anxiety from emotions

By: Logan Pierce, Editor-in-Chief
Students are taking the steps necessary to overcome their fear of math, also known as arithmophobia. On March 27, Amber Mitchell, TriO Student Support Services director, gave a presentation on conquering math anxiety. Mitchell said that the hang-ups people have with math are emotional, not intellectual.
Mitigating the Math Mindset
Mitchell talked about the “Math Mindset,” a widely accepted belief that math is so difficult that few are capable of understanding it, therefore it is okay to avoid being successful at it.

To illustrate the point, she presented a scenario of individuals in their mid-twenties eating at a restaurant. When the check comes, they scratch their heads trying to figure out the correct tip. One says, “Isn’t it funny that we’re all in grad school, and none of us can do math?” This elicited smirks and chuckles from those in attendance.

Now, let’s do that scenario again, only this time when the menus are brought out, the group scratches their heads, unable to comprehend the words. One says, “Isn’t it funny that we’re all in grad school, and none of us can read?” Mitchell noticed that there were no smirks or chuckles after the scenario’s second version.

Mitchell said that there’s a social stigma associated with illiteracy, but that it’s socially acceptable to be a math illiterate.
Stress Soothing Study Strategy

Several methods were discussed in obtaining math mastery. Consistent study patterns are crucial to comprehension. “Don’t just cram before a test,” Mitchell said. Studies show that between a half hour to an hour is an ideal amount of time to spend on a subject. After that, take a break before returning to the material.

“Something that worked for me was eating a Snickers bar a half hour before I took a test,” Mitchell said, “I gained 20 pounds, but my grades improved. Maybe it was just a sugar rush, but to me, it helped.”

“The most important thing to remember is that everybody is capable of learning math,” Mitchell said.

The next Student Success workshop will cover how to protect important information from identity theft. It will take place 12:30 p.m., Wed. April 4, in the Engineering and Technology building, Rm. 208.

By 15th Street News Posted in Raider Life Tagged Engineering and Technology building, identity theft, illiteracy, , Math Mindset, Snickers, TRiO Student Support Services