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. A $5,000 cash prize and a plaque will be presented to the winning chapter. 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!

Click HERE to apply.

All application materials must be submitted online no later than March 1, 2024.

2024 Rubin Award Winner

School: Round Rock High School
School Location: Round Rock, Texas

From our humble beginnings in 1987, our Round Rock High School Chapter has grown exponentially and provided students of various backgrounds with opportunities to thrive in their lives as ambitious students and gain skills for future success. Our chapter is “dedicated to inspiring a keen interest in mathematics, developing strong scholarship in the subject, and promoting the enjoyment of mathematics in high school”. We strive to offer a path to success to our Round Rock community students and all of those around us, as our students venture out and contribute to our society. From community enrichment events with elementary and middle schoolers to relaxed relay nights with students in our high school, our chapter has been heavily involved in the community since the very beginning. Intending to connect with and serve our community, we offer various opportunities to our members and Round Rock residents.

One creative and unique opportunity that we created was for our members to create a one-pager about famous mathematicians or a math topic that they found interesting or wanted to further research. We thought this seemed relevant because of the way that we were able to spread the mathematics word and involve our members. We also thought that rather than just sending us the one-pager or picture of proof that they completed creating the post, we saw it to be more beneficial to make it where members were able to post their creations on social media whether it be Instagram or Snapchat. This was interesting and was a great initiative as we quickly noticed that the number of people who participated in this fun event increased by large amounts. We could see that the effect of the post was working. More and more members got involved and many students who were not a part of our chapter of Mu Alpha Theta reached out interested in joining, working with us to meet the invitational requirements! It was cool for us to see the increase in the amount of awareness and activity that our chapter got through this simple idea, giving members a fun and quick way to accumulate points while leaving an impact on their community.

Our chapter has additionally engaged in many areas of math enrichment such as community math relays and puzzles, allowing students to explore their love for mathematics and engage in a variety of activities, with incentives such as prizes and group fun. From Geometry to Algebra, Calculus, and Statistics, Round Rock has offered all participants willing to join the opportunity to show and enrich their math skills, facilitating events for a school this large. Additionally, volunteer services were used in the relays, allowing students to contribute to their school’s Mu Alpha Theta chapter, grading papers, and setting up testing spaces. These relays are a staple in the Round Rock chapter, with the last one being as recent as this month, allowing many students to display their math skills. To further promote our chapter’s sense of community and general wonder, our chapter regularly holds math enrichment events, whether it is a time allocated during a general meeting or an entire event. Our math enrichment comes with a whole team creating engaging puzzles and presenting them in general meetings. Students often find these segments engaging as many good discussions arise while the puzzles are being displayed. Under our previous sponsor Ms. Sanders, the chapter along with new inductees has seen math applied engagingly and practically, making students come out of their comfort zone of simply doing math quizzes and tests. And with our new sponsor, these events will not stop. These activities show the true wonder of math and its applications as a subject used in problem-solving and the creation of new things to develop and challenge the human brain to always think outside the box to create a better community and world as a whole. This brings out a deeper goal than pure mathematical performance and can promote interest and discovery in students and our chapter’s new inductees for the rest of their lifetimes, allowing them to spread this gift wherever they go in the world from jobs in the STEM field, to the depths of medical study and even into the fields of economics and business. During the COVID pandemic, our chapter responded and remained active by creating multiple Google Classrooms with several hundred students to support elementary, middle school, and high school students. In February of 2021, we created an elementary STEAM enrichment Google classroom posting multiple activities each week to engage students and stimulate their interest in math and science. Our activities included building hexaflexagons, coding, and learning about Fibonacci numbers, and Mayan numerals. When Round Rock High School hosted elementary school Math Pentathlon competitions, our Mu Alpha Theta sponsor stepped in to volunteer for concessions when asked to do so on a short time constraint. Our chapter is vast with over 700 members enrolled in the club, and we do our best to provide math opportunities for everyone. With a size this large, our financial needs have grown to provide opportunities for everyone. Our goal is to provide for all of our students’ needs, beginning from supporting their induction into Mu Alpha Theta and allowing them the opportunity to participate in events such as the National Mu Alpha Theta Summer Convention. Our chapter has been highly active for the past 3 decades, presenting Round Rock High School and the State of Texas at the National Convention. We would feel blessed to uphold this honor once again. From relays and competitions, UIL, and the national convention, we hope to gain the support necessary to support the large, thriving community at Round Rock High School.

2023 Rubin Award Winner

School: Smithtown High School East
School Location: Saint James, NY

During the Covid pandemic, our chapter responded and remained active by creating multiple Google Classrooms with several hundred students to support elementary, middle school, and high school students. In February of 2021, we created an elementary STEAM enrichment Google classroom posting multiple activities each week to engage students and stimulate their interest in math and science. Our activities included building hexaflexagons, coding, learning about Fibonacci numbers, and Mayan numerals. Each activity was created by one of our officers, then our members did the activity and created a video to go along with it. Each activity had 3 - 4 videos of high school students reaching out to their younger counterparts encouraging them to try the activities and showing them how to do it. The officers created the lessons, the members demonstrated them, and our elementary students did the activities and uploaded pictures of their work. We had over 240 elementary students participate during the 2020-2021 school year.

During this same school year, we also created a middle school tutoring Google classroom where our members used Kami to create tutorials for homework problems that students were struggling with. Our tutoring officers opened up the tutoring "hotline" every Wednesday for two hours after school. Students would submit questions on the Google classroom, our officers would then forward them to our members, the members would create tutorials using Kami with voice recordings, then the officers would post the tutorials on our Google classroom. We had over 100 student tutorial submissions and an additional 90 middle school students joined the classroom.

To follow through during the 2021-2022 school year, our district expressed a need to "bridge the gap" of math learning that occurred during last year's live streaming and remote learning. Our honor society met the challenge and created a third Google classroom, our Bridging the Gap classroom open to all middle school and high school students in the district. We reached out to all secondary math teachers in the district and asked them for requests. Teachers responded with topics that their students really were weak in such as the Pythagorean theorem, Trigonometric Exact Values, and solving basic equations. Once again, our officers posted assignments for our members on the classroom. Our members responded with Kami tutorials and these were then posted on the Bridging the Gap classroom for all students to see. We currently have 120 students from grades 7 - 12 making use of the tutorials on this classroom.

Our service continued in the 2021-2022 school year with a fundraiser to benefit the World Central Kitchen in response to the crisis in Ukraine. Our members held a math fair and Bingo night for elementary school families and raised over 2,000 for this organization. A thank you letter is attached with our application along with pictures of the event (it is addressed to Smithtown High School East, but this letter responded to the donation raised entirely by the Smithtown East Math Honor Society). We also held an SAT prep course for students using materials that our officers created.

In 2022-2023 we held a Math Fun Night in December to bolster students' interest in mathematics. We had over 30 activities including activities such as a working Galton machine to learn about the normal curve, interactive math challenges created by our members, snowflake geometry, M & M math, the four color theorem, platonic solids, and a host of other activities designed to expose students to interesting mathematics they most likely will not see in their classrooms. We had over 400 students in grades 4 - 8 in attendance. The event was a huge success and the continuation of a tradition our chapter had been carrying out for over a decade.

Our members are not just members in name. They are active members who give back to the community. We have over 200 active members in our honor society. To be inducted you have to serve your community in the form of tutoring and engaging in mathematics. While our members get inducted after two years of successful performance in high school mathematics, they continue to participate in the honor society until they graduate. We meet on Fridays after school and have two parts to our meetings - the business and then the part 2 fun math activity. Every meeting sees students actively engaged in mathematics doing activities such as building 3D Serpinski triangles, creating Cardiods, using modular arithmetic, solving Tangram puzzles and most recently we provided a school-wide SAT/ACT prep session with materials created by our members to help their peers prepare for these exams. We also hold mathematics competitions and participate in national competitions such as the AMC and MathCON. To be honest, our members enjoy our own competitions the most with our last meeting being our most recent. We had over 80 students competing with each other at 4pm on a Friday afternoon! We are a true service organization that both celebrates and supports mathematics. If you combine our membership with the students who have joined our Google Classrooms, we have reached close to 700 students over the past two years.

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2021 Rubin Award Winner

School: Franklinton High School
School Location: Franklinton, NC

The Franklinton High School chapter is a highly active chapter that is focused on encouraging an interest in and enjoyment of mathematics. For the past seven years, they've hosted an annual "Pi Day" on campus that encourages interest in mathematics. Each elected officer of the chapter, as part of their job, offers a lecture in the “Math Club Student Lecture Series” that is centered on an interesting math topic not typically taught in the classroom and is equivalent to the Chalk Talks held at the Mu Alpha Theta National Convention. These lectures are open to all students and teachers at their school and has helped build a bridge across departments. Even after COVID-19 shut down their school building in 2020, this chapter continued to meet virtually and hosted weekly guest speakers from a wide variety of mathematics backgrounds and careers.

To benefit their broader Franklinton, NC community, this chapter has partnered with the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at UNC-CH to offer “STEMville Family Science Nights” to all of elementary and middle schools in their district since 2014. This night brings together school and community partners to spread the work of STEM and encourage students to reach out and find their path. This chapter also holds an annual competition for fifth grade students and has plans to do so virtually this year as well. Students from the county’s elementary schools come to the Franklinton High School campus each year to compete in Team and Individual competitions. This chapter has been doing these long enough now that former competitors are joining the school’s Math Club and continuing their interest in mathematics.

2020 Rubin Award Winner

School: Saint Andrew's School
School Location: Boca Raton, FL

Since its inception eight years ago, Saint Andrew’s Mu Alpha Theta (SAMAO) has grown exponentially from 15 members to over 80. This makes it the largest club, in the school, representing 15% of the upper school students! In addition to inspiring a love of math among its members, SAMAO strongly believes in giving back to the local community. To ensure this, chapter members are required to complete a total of 10 hours of community service each year through various programs such as working with kids at a local children’s development center (such as Florence Fuller or the YMCA) or peer tutoring JK - 12 students at our school. These tutoring projects help both the student and the tutor better learn the material and improve their communication skills as well as build relationships with the students being tutored.

2019 Rubin Award Winner

School: Williamston High School 
School Location: Williamston, MI

The 2019 Diane Rubin Award-winning Mu Alpha Theta chapter at Williamston High School has had a very busy few years! Since its inception in 2013, sponsor Joe Rasmus has helped the chapter create impactful programs that help chapter members give back to their community.

  • Since 2014, chapter members have been volunteering twice a week to tutor elementary school students in mathematics. This past year, a total of 28 tutors were paired with students and a strategy was tailored to each student following discussions with the student's teacher.
  • Chapter members present challenging math problems and provide encouragement and guidance to students at a local after-school elementary math club.
  • Members help craft a monthly math challenge that is open to all middle school students in the chapter’s “Middle School Problem of the Month”. Chapter members review all responses and select the best response for a prize.
  • For the past five years, the chapter has organized and run a middle school math competition for seventh- and eighth-grade students. More than 100 students participated in 2018’s contest.
  • In 2018, the chapter hosted its fourth annual Math-a-Thon fundraiser to benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Kindergarten through fifth-grade students rotated through various stations with activities ranging from physical challenges, making slime, crafting, scavenger hunts, and, of course, math. This year, the chapter raised a total of $1280!
  • The chapter has helped foster an understanding and enjoyment of mathematics by sponsoring booths at the school's Family Math Night hosted by the local PTSA. Chapter members helped explain concepts and played math-related games.
  • The chapter celebrates Pi Day every March 14th. This popular event provides all Williamston students and staff with a free slice of pie and helps bring everyone together to learn about pi with various fun math activities.

As you can see, the Williamston chapter of Mu Alpha Theta has gone above and beyond the call of duty to volunteer their time and passion for mathematics to their community. We are pleased to congratulate them as the recipients of the 2019 Diane Rubin Service Award. Keep up the great work, Williamston!

Check out this video of just some of the great work going on at Williamston High School's chapter of Mu Alpha Theta!

2018 Rubin Award Winner

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. 

2017 Rubin Award Winner

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. 

2016 Rubin Award Winner

School: St. Thomas Aquinas High School
School Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL

2015 Rubin Award Winner

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.

2014 Rubin Award Winner

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.

2013 Rubin Award Winner

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.

2012 Rubin Award Winner

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.

2011 Rubin Award Winner

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.

2010 Rubin Award Winner

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.

In Partnership With

Mu Alpha Theta

National High School & Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society

Contact us

Mu Alpha Theta
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