Mathematical Modeling and Pooled Blood Testing

Saturday November 7, 10-11:30AM, Online!

What: A free online workshop about Pooled Blood Testing. Led by Maria Hernandez, recently at the North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics

When: November 7, 10-11:30 AM.

Where: Online Zoom meeting

Suppose you have 1000 samples given for testing a community for drug use or for Covid-19. You could test them all individually, but that would be expensive. So you decide to test them in pools. How big should the pools be? How many tests do you expect to do? These questions can be explored using techniques of math modeling. Teachers will leave with resources they can use for math modeling.

Register HERE: . Please register so that we know you are coming to the Zoom meeting and so that we can update you about any changes.

The North Carolina Network of Math Teachers' Circles (NCNMTC), is a statewide network of mathematics teachers and faculty. As part of this network, Math Teachers’ Circles around the state will provide an ongoing way for teachers and professors to stay connected around mathematics.

What are Math Teachers’ Circles?

Math Teachers’ Circles (MTCs; are professional communities of K-12 teachers and higher education faculty who meet regularly to work on rich mathematics problems and informally discuss problems of practice. MTCs are a key part of our vision in North Carolina for building a K-20 community of mathematics professionals committed to fostering a love for and understanding of mathematics among all students.

Who participates?

MTCs vary in size, but on average have about 15-20 teacher members. North Carolina’s MTC’s will welcome all K-12 teachers. Each group also includes mathematics department faculty from a college or university, or other professional mathematicians from academia or industry.

What happens at a Math Teachers’ Circle meeting?

Most MTCs meet five or six times each school year. Meetings last two to three hours and include a meal, a math session, and discussion time devoted to problems of practice and topics such as equity. Math sessions are not lectures, but rather, highly interactive mathematical explorations typically led by a mathematics professor or co-led by a teacher and a professor.

To get a sense of what a math session is like, we recommend checking out one of the videos at Joshua Zucker’s “Introduction to Problem Solving” is a great place to start. You also might enjoy Zucker’s short article on the philosophy of MTCs, “Be Less Helpful” (

How do I get involved in a Math Teachers’ Circle?

You can learn more about our network and attend a mock circle session at the fall NCCTM conference in Greensboro. Please contact Nathan Borchelt if you are interested in joining a meeting near you, or starting a new circle.

In addition to regular members, each MTC also needs a leadership team with two K-12 teachers and one or two higher education faculty. If you would like assistance finding higher education faculty for your leadership team, please feel free to contact Sloan Despeaux at

What additional support is available for Math Teachers’ Circles in North Carolina?

MTCs started in 2006 at the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM; Since then, AIM has worked with teams of teachers and professors around the country to start more than 80 MTCs in 37 states. Through the Math Teachers’ Circle Network (, AIM provides planning guides, seed grants, mathematical materials, a semi-annual newsletter, and other resources.

The NCNMTC provides Math Summer Camps for MTC leadership teams (new and established) to sustain and grow MTCs across North Carolina. In addition, we can recommend or provide guest facilitators for meetings throughout the year. For more information, please contact Sloan Despeaux (despeaux@wcu.edu_ or Nathan Borchelt (