High School Part-Time Jobs For Atherton Students

Feel like earning some of your own spending money? Have some extra free time? Want to gain work experience and some more responsibility? Consider getting a part-time job!

While Atherton students are extraordinarily busy with school, with friends, and with family, having a part-time job in high school is a rewarding experience in its own right. In this week’s blog post, the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park compiled some tips and advice about having a part-time job in high school. Much of the staff at Mathnasium are or started off working as high school students!

Part-Time Job Tips

  1. Put together a regular work schedule. Maybe you have a couple hours to spare right after school every day. Or maybe you only want to work on weekends or during the summer. Regardless, make sure that you can commit a regular amount of hours to your job each week, while also being able to balance work, school, and downtime.
  2. Be open-minded about the jobs you can work part-time. Consider being a tutor for kids in your local Atherton neighborhood. You could also work retail at a store at the mall, or serve at a restaurant. As a high schooler, you will learn from whatever job you decide to take. An ideal part-time job will be able to teach you responsibility, dependability, patience, and flexibility.
  3. Apply for some part-time jobs! Put together a resume of the extracurriculars you do outside of school as well as the grades you’ve earned. Find one or two references (non-relatives) who might be able to provide a good recommendation in case possible employers ask for one. Apply broadly and don’t give up! If you start a couple months early, possibly in March or April, you’ll definitely be able to find a job for the summer!

We hope that these tips helped you think about the possibility of getting a part-time job in your local Atherton area. For more fun ways to learn, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

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“Grease” Math For Menlo Park

This week, some of our students from Menlo Park watched the movie Grease, a classic from the late 70s. This week, the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park compiled some math practice problems based on the theme of the movie Grease. Grab a pencil and some paper, or if you want a real challenge, try doing these math problems in your head!

Grease-Math Problems

  1. Sandy and Danny spend the whole summer at the beach together. Each day, they stroll the beach at 3mph for 3 hours. If Sandy and Danny spend a total of 30 days on the beach together, how many miles did they each walk on the beach this summer?
  2. Danny and his friends are trying to fix their old car. Before maintenance, it took about 45 seconds for the car to start up. After maintenance, there was a 75% improvement in the time it takes for the car to start up. How fast can the car start up after maintenance?
  3. Rumors travel fast at Rydell High School! One student tells 2 of her friends a rumor. In 5 minutes, each of those two friends tell two of their friends the rumor. 5 minutes later, all of them each tell another 2 of their friends the rumor. 30 minutes after the start of the rumor, how many kids hear the rumor? (Don’t forget to count the kids who already know the rumor!)
  4. The Pink Ladies (4 friends total) decide to go to the local diner to get some food. If each of them gets one slice of pizza for 35 cents and one strawberry milkshake for a dime, how much money do they spend in total? Assume that tax is 8%.

We hope that you enjoyed these Grease-themed math problems! For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

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Cheesecake Brownie Recipe For Palo Alto

The Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park is constantly looking for ways to further engage our students with math! Baking is a wonderful way to practice using the measurement system, adjusting the recipe to fit more personal serving sizes, and other mathematical concepts! In this week’s blog post, we’re providing a recipe for cheesecake brownies, a delicious treat that is sure to make anyone’s day! The recipe is provided by allrecipes.com.

Total Cook Time: About 45 minutes


  • 1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup white sugar


  1. Prepare the brownie mix as directed by manufacturer. Preheat oven to temperature indicated on box. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan. Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, egg and sugar until smooth. Dollop the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter. Swirl together using a knife or skewer.
  3. Bake according to manufacturer’s instructions. Brownies will be done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pan, then cut into bars and serve.

We hope that you have fun making these cheesecake brownies for your family, friends, or classmates at your local Palo Alto school! The best part about baking with math is that you can enjoy your results in the end! Feel free to alter the amount of ingredients (while keeping the proportions the same) to make more or less cheesecake brownies. Let us know how your cheesecake brownies turned out!

For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park!

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Test Prep Tips For The South Bay Area

For high school juniors and seniors in the South Bay Area, it’s definitely time to think about standardized testing for college admissions. Whether you’re taking the SAT or the ACT, you’re probably either starting to or are in the midst of test prep if you’re a junior, or are planning a last retake if you’re a senior. As a result, the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park compiled some college admissions test prep tips for South Bay Area students in this week’s blog post.

Test Prep Tips

  1. Before automatically enrolling in a test prep class, see if you can study on your own! Buy some test prep books from Kaplan, Princeton Review, or Barron’s, and go through the practice tests and problem sets on your own. Also check the College Board and ACT website to find practice tests from previous years. Some students find test prep classes helpful because they’re extremely structured and organized. However, if you’re highly independent and motivated, you definitely don’t need to enroll in these classes, and should be fine studying on your own.
  2. Come up with a good study plan! Definitely do a little bit each day or every couple days, rather than studying for a long time all at once. Plan on focusing on one section each study session, and going through a set of problems. Every week or so, take a new practice test. The point is to set up a reliable system so that you can study continuously and gradually.
  3. Be strategic with the subject tests! Even though the subject tests are optional with the new SAT format and the ACT, you can still impress colleges if you score highly on these subject tests. If you’re planning to study the sciences or engineering in college, plan to do well on a math subject test and a science subject test. However, if you’re studying anything else, it might be a good idea to score well on one humanities/language test and one science test. Also, you’re a native speaker of a foreign language, it might not be a good idea to take the subject test for that language (after all, it’s not that impressive if you send in a perfect score for a language you’ve grown up with). Consider taking an AP test for that language if available to demonstrate your fluency.

We hope that you found these test prep tips helpful, South Bay Area students! For more fun ways to learn, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

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Portola Valley To L.A. Math Practice Problems

Our readers seem to have enjoyed our New York-themed math practice problems from last week! This week, to represent our staff members who go to school in or around L.A., we’re posting a bunch of L.A.-themed math practice problems!

L.A.-themed math problems

  1. Jackson from Portola Valley is visiting his big brother at USC this weekend! Jackson and his family drive on average 60 mph for six hours  and ten minutes. How far did Jackson and his family drive to L.A.?
  2. There aren’t very many beaches around Portola Valley! As a result, Jackson wants to spend a lot of time in L.A.’s famous beaches! Jackson and his family buy sunscreen for $7.50, and drive to Santa Monica, where parking is $4 an hour. Jackson convinces his parents to buy him some ice cream for $3.50. If they spend 3 hours at the beach, how much money did the family spend in total?
  3. Uh oh – looks like there’s traffic on the 405! Jackson’s family can either bear the traffic and take the 405, the most direct route, or an alternative local route. Their destination is 8 miles away on the 405 route, but traffic only moves at 20 miles per hour. If they use the alternate route, the destination would be 15 miles away, but traffic would move at 30 miles per hour. Which route should Jackson’s family take?
  4. Jackson is in L.A. from Thursday to Sunday. There is a high temperature of 76 degrees on Thursday, 81 degrees on Friday, 79 degrees on Saturday, and 91 degrees on Sunday. What is the average high temperature in Los Angeles during Jackson’s visit?

We hope that you were able to practice your basic math skills with these L.A.-themed problems. For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

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Atherton To NYC Math Practice Problems

At the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park, many of our staff go to college across the country! The staff writer for this week’s post goes to college in New York City, far away from Atherton, where many of our students are from! This week’s math problems feature New York, New York. Once again, if you find these math problems too easy for you, try doing them in your head to practice your mental math!

New York City Math Problems

  1. Mary-Jane from Atherton is visiting New York City for Thanksgiving Break! If her plane takes off from SFO at 3:10pm, and the flight is 5 hours and 30 minutes long, when will she arrive at JFK in Queens? Don’t forget to take into account the 3 hour time difference!
  2. Mary-Jane loves art! Now that she’s in New York City, she really wants to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She plans to spend 30 minutes in the Egyptian Art section, an hour in the 19th century European Art collection, 45 minutes in the East Asian Art section, and 30 minutes in the modern art section. How much time does she plan to stay at the Met in total?
  3. Mary-Jane’s best friend from Atherton also happens to be in New York City at the moment! They meet up at a trendy cafe on the Upper West Side. The girls can choose either a cream-of-mushroom soup, calamari, or a house salad for an appetizer; a grilled salmon, margherita pizza, sirloin steak, or lamb shank for a main entree; and a tiramisu or a cheesecake for dessert. Assuming that each choice contains equal probability, what is the probability that Mary-Jane selects a house salad, a margherita pizza, and a tiramisu for dinner?
  4. Mary-Jane has always wanted to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge! If the Brooklyn Bridge is about 1.1 miles long, and Mary-Jane walks at 3 miles per hour (she usually walks faster than that, but is slowed down by tourists), how long do you predict it will take her to walk across the bridge?

We hope that you enjoyed these math practice problems featuring the greatest city in the whole world! For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park!

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Treat Yourselves, Menlo Park Students

Now that we’re officially in the thick of the school year here in Menlo Park, our lives are getting busier and stress levels may be getting higher. In the spirit of balancing work and play, this week’s Mathnasium blog post is a compilation of ways in which the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park reduce stress. The philosophy of “treating yourself” refers to finding the little joys in life that can boost one’s happiness in the midst of lots of work and responsibilities. Treating yourself is an important part of life, and should happen ideally every day, at least to some extent.

Tips for Treating Yourself

  1. Treat yourself with some food! We all have our individual culinary weaknesses, whether it’s cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, or a Starbucks frappuccino. It might not be a good idea to treat yourself to this type of food every single day (the sugar really adds up), but it’s definitely okay to have some once in a while, if you’re feeling down or stressed.
  2. Treat yourself to some Netflix, or some TV! Most of us have some entertainment series we’re engaged in, whether it’s Grey’s Anatomy or RuPaul’s Drag Race. At the end of a long day, it could be beneficial to treat yourself to the latest episode of the show. Watching an episode is a great way to kick back, relax, and take a break from the everyday activities that you’re a part of. Just don’t binge on these series (unless it’s summer)!
  3. Treat yourself to some time alone! If you’re an introvert, you need time alone to recharge from those constant social interaction. If you’re an extrovert, some time alone could still be beneficial, giving you time to reflect and enjoy your own company. Whether it’s reading a book in your favorite spot, taking a long walk in the park, or daydreaming in your own bed, definitely take some time for yourself!

We hope that these tips gave you the opportunity to think about how you can treat yourself in your own life! For more fun ways to learn, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

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La La Land Math For Palo Alto

Some of us at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park just saw the critically-acclaimed movie La La Land. While we agree that the movie could have used a more diverse cast, we enjoyed the overall story-line and music presented in the movie. This week, we compiled some La La Land-themed math practice problems. These math problems are mainly computational – if you find them too easy for you, try to do them in your head, without a calculator or pen and paper.

  1. Connie is driving to her audition in West Hollywood, but is stuck on Highway 10 in L.A. traffic! West Hollywood is 7 miles away, and traffic on the 10 is moving at 5mph. Connie debates whether or not she should take a detour onto Santa Monica Boulevard, which would lengthen her trip by 1.5 miles. However, traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard is moving at 20mph. How much time would she save if she took Santa Monica Boulevard instead of Highway 10?
  2. Connie is performing a one-woman show at a theater in Pasadena. She paid $500 to rent out the theater and $100 for her set and props. If she charges $5.00 per ticket, how many people would need to attend her show for Connie to break even?
  3. Jared is an aspiring jazz artist. Currently, to pay the bills, however, he plays piano at a restaurant in Sherman Oaks. If he earns $20 an hour as well as tips, how much in tips would he have to earn within his 3-hour shift to take home $100?
  4. It takes Connie 30 minutes to memorize a page of script. She has an audition tomorrow at 10:00am, where she has to read 3 pages of script. It’s currently 8:00pm, and her friends have just invited her to a party in Westwood at 10:00pm. Can she go to the party and have her lines memorized for tomorrow?

We hope you enjoyed these math problems! For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

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Lady Gaga Concert Math In Portola Valley

The staff writer writing this week’s blog post loves listening to Lady Gaga, who is currently on her Joanne world tour. To celebrate her current tour, this week’s Mathnasium math problems will be dedicated to Lady Gaga’s music. If you find these math problems easy, try doing them in your head!

Lady Gaga Themed Practice Problems

  1. Jackson from Portola Valley wants to buy $250 concert tickets to see Lady Gaga when she sings in the Bay Area! Jackson’s parents told him that he can go to the concert if he earns the money for the tickets himself. If Jackson works as a cashier at the local grocery store and earns $15 an hour (and pays 8% in tax), how many hours must he work to afford those tickets?
  2. Jenny’s favorite Lady Gaga songs are Just Dance, Summer Boy, and Highway Unicorn, in that order. While she’s driving to her Portola Valley high school, if she’s listening to her Lady Gaga playlist on shuffle, which contains 30 Lady Gaga songs, what is the probability that these songs are played in that specific order? Assume that the shuffle function doesn’t repeat songs.
  3. Sylvia from Portola Valley is going to Lady Gaga’s Joanne World Tour concert in the Bay Area with her two best friends, Alejandro and Judy. Sylvia plans to pick up her two friends and to carpool to the concert, which starts at 7:30pm. It takes Sylvia 10 minutes to drive to Alejandro’s house in Menlo Park and 15 minutes to drive from Alejandro’s house to Judy’s house in Palo Alto. The concert venue is an hour away from Judy’s house. What time do you recommend that Sylvia leave from her house? (It might be a good idea for her to leave a bit earlier than it normally takes to drive to those places!)

We hope that you had fun solving these Lady Gaga-themed math problems! For more fun ways to learn math in the Portola Valley area, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

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College Application Tips For Menlo Park Students

If you’re a senior at a Menlo Park high school, chances are you’re stressing out about college applications right around now. The college application process is long and daunting, but also exciting. You have the opportunity to choose where you’ll live for the next four years, what kinds of subjects you’d like to study, and the type of college life that you’d like to lead. In this week’s post, the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park compiled some tips for a successful college application.

  1. Cast a wide net. Make sure that you apply to a wide range of schools, from your reaches to your matches to your safeties. No matter how confident you are about your abilities, it’s never a good idea to only apply to highly selective schools, such as the Ivies. At the same time, don’t underestimate your abilities and only apply to your safety schools. It’s a good idea to apply to at least a couple of safeties and a couple of reaches.
  2. Spend time on your essays. Even if the deadline is months away, you should start drafting your essays now! The most successful essays take multiple drafts and hours of editing. When you have a final draft that you feel confident about, find your favorite English teacher and have them read over your application essays.
  3. Make sure you ask for your recommendation letters early! If you haven’t done so already, ask for your recommendation letters within the next week or two. Teachers are incredibly busy, and are willing to take multiple hours writing recommendation letters for their students. Give them ample time to write yours.
  4. Also relating to recommendation letters, put together a document compiling your background information, and hand this to your teacher. Include the classes you’ve taken, your extracurricular activities, what you’re looking for in a college, etc. This background information is extraordinarily helpful for teachers when they’re writing letters about you.

We hope that you found some of these tips helpful! We realized that most of our advice regarding college applications is just common sense, which says a lot about the process. As long as you’re hard-working, patient, and organized, you’ll see great results come decision day. Good luck!

For more fun ways to learn, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

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