The University of Maine at Farmington Actuarial Science Program recently hosted six Maine high school math teachers at its Farmington campus for a meet-and-greet networking event sponsored by the national Actuarial Foundation.

Teachers from Auburn, Machias, South Portland, Ellsworth and Farmington participated.

The event was an opportunity for teachers to collaborate with colleagues, learn about actuarial science and how to connect in-classroom activities to the field, explore opportunities at UMF and participate in the national 2022-2023 Modeling the Future Challenge.

Dr. Lori Koban, director of the Actuarial Science program, facilitated the event, according to a news release from the university.

“Historically, the MTFC program has not had any student participants from Maine. We are going to change that this year. This challenge helps all students learn how to financially evaluate risk, which is a life skill. It also introduces students to the actuarial profession, which is an excellent match for some students who enjoy math but do not know what career to pursue,” said Koban.

Actuaries are professional risk managers and problem solvers as conditions affect insurance, investments and other financial activities. The program offers the math-minded student a blend of math, business, economics, finance, computer science and statistics. These courses prepare students for a number of in-demand professions, including as a credentialed actuary, underwriter, data specialist or statistician.


UMF is one of 13 national University partners in the MTFC program, a project-based competition that invites high school math students to conduct their own research project combining math modeling, data analysis and risk management. Their recommendations are then shared with companies, industry groups, governments or organizations.

“I’m thrilled that Lori reached out to me about the actuarial science competition; the meeting was a fantastic experience. I purposely look for opportunities for my students and math team members that can motivate, engage, and stimulate their mathematical creativity, and I’m especially excited for my students because this competition could open doors to a career they may not have considered or even known about otherwise,” said Elena Berry, Edward Little High School mathematics instructor and Math Team coach.

The challenge collaborates with universities across the U.S. to help high school students take the next steps in their mathematical careers. It also helps high school educators learn about actuarial science with a series of virtual summer training sessions.

Educators can participate in virtual training sessions in July or September and receive a $300 stipend and 13 professional development hours.

The MTFC is one of the largest mathematics challenges open to students, with $55,000 in scholarships available from the Actuarial Foundation.

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