Structure of the Program
Much like the accelerated Science program, the Pre-AP Incentive Mathematics Program allows Incentive students to complete three years of junior math (Math 8, 9 and 10) are covered within two years (Grades 8 and 9). Thus by the end of Grade 9, students in the Pre-AP Honours Mathematics Program will effectively be one year ahead in their high school math education. These students may then take regular Pre-Calculus Math 11 or Enriched Pre-Calculus Math 11 during their Grade 10 year, subsequently followed by Pre-Calculus Math 12 in Grade 11. Ultimately, these students may then enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus 12 – the equivalent of a first-semester university calculus course – in their Grade 12 year.
Palmer’s Pre-AP Honours Math Program provides excellent preparation in Mathematics for students who plan to continue into a post-secondary program where calculus is required. In fact, students who do very well in high school AP Calculus may be permitted to proceed directly into second semester calculus upon entering university, or into an honours Calculus course (depending upon the university). Palmer Pre-AP Honours Math or Pre-AP/Incentive students who have undertaken the College Board’s AP Calculus final exam have done exceedingly well over the years, often scoring perfect scores on these exams (a 5/5 ranking on the AP Calculus exam), and have gone on to do well in their university calculus courses.
Extra-Curricular Mathematics Enrichment Opportunities
Palmer Secondary School offers our students several opportunities in which to enrich and challenge themselves in mathematics and in all of the Pre-AP Math courses, one important learning and enrichment activity is the opportunity for students to undertake various regional and national math competitions. These math competitions typically involve problems that are at a higher level than the usual curriculum questions encountered in class. Practicing such questions will help students to develop broader creativity, insight and problem solving skills.
In addition to the Pre-AP and AP Calculus classes, there are also Palmer’s Math Clubs where members practice and prepare to compete in a variety of local and national mathematics competitions. Senior math students also gain leadership experience by volunteering to coach or co-coach junior math teams.
One prestigious and well-known competition in which we participate is the University of Waterloo series in February for Grades 9, 10 and 11 (the Pascal, Cayley and Fermat contests respectively), as well as the Euclid Contest for Grade 12 in April, and the Grade 8 Gauss Contest in May. In addition, senior students may take part in the Canadian Open Mathematics Competition in November (sponsored by The University of British Columbia, among other universities). Palmer students have done very well on these and other contests, often placing themselves and the school in the top 10% or higher in the country, and regularly winning zone, regional or provincial championships.
MathChallengersBC is Grade 8 and 9 math enrichment and competition program that is hosted by Simon Fraser University and The University of British Columbia. It is jointly sponsored by the BC Association of Mathematics Teachers (BCAMT) and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC). Palmer has a long tradition as a perennial contender in the provincial finals competition of this contest, and has previously won the provincial championship, as well as occasionally placing teams in 2nd, 3rd and 4th spots.
Palmer also occasionally competes in the Canadian National Mathematics League High School Contest series. This involves a series of six 6-question contests for Grade 9-12 students. In most years, Palmer finishes first or second in Richmond on this contest, and usually ranks in the top eight schools in BC out of about 35 which take part provincially every year.