The Signal

An ‘amazing’ field trip to Costco

- By Michael Picarella Signal Staff Writer

Ken Newton has taken his elementary school math lessons from the classroom to the warehouse.

Newton, who teaches at Fair Oaks Ranch Community School in Canyon Country, has built a 12-year tradition of an annual field trip in partnershi­p with Costco. It started when Newton was looking for fun ways to end the school year and has become a fun end-of-theyear event he calls Math Amazing Race around the store.

Students from grades five and six ask Costco team members approximat­ely 30 questions. The fun event was back at Costco this year after a COVID-19 hiatus of two years, giving these kids a chance to peek into reallife math.

Aliza Kazi, a fifthgrade­r from Newton’s class, said the trip was both fun and educationa­l and they learned a lot of new things, like how much some things cost

in the store. “The prices are way more than I expected. Way more.”

Students also got to ask employees about their bosses and how much money they made in 2021. Kazi and her friends were all accolades for one of their favorite teachers.

“He’s very creative. Most teachers don’t usually have such trips, and he lets us be creative with these trips and other fun activities like podcasts. He’s a very nice teacher.”

Newton returns the love every year by holding the annual Math Amazing Race, and by inviting his former students to share their achievemen­ts and struggles with his current students.

“It started off very grassroots level. From coming out here for a few minutes initially to now, it has culminated into a much larger event. Today, we asked a variety of math questions and lots of fun, geeky trivia questions like the number of chickens they’ve sold, their No. 1 product, etc.”

The team had 60 minutes to answer nearly 35 questions.

Costco Santa Clarita’s Warehouse Manager Elias Rahhal said that such events are a part of Costco’s adoption of local schools with limited access to government funding, including reading programs and backpack assistance. These kids, he added, get their field trip, and apply real-life experience­s and math to this adventure.

“They were asking me a multitude of questions, some of which even challenged my knowledge base and I had to actually go get the answer for them and come back,” he said with a smile.

Newton said that the community and the school are appreciati­ve of such partnershi­ps, especially because what the kids learn in school, they can apply it out there. “This was a good day. These kids are enthusiast­ic and fun.”

 ?? Dan Watson/The SIgnal ?? Chaperone Fawna Velci, right, and her team of Fair Oaks Ranch Community School fifth and sixth-graders figure out the sales tax on the price of two 65 inch Samsung TVs during the annual Math Amazing Race held at Costco in Santa Clarita recently.
Dan Watson/The SIgnal Chaperone Fawna Velci, right, and her team of Fair Oaks Ranch Community School fifth and sixth-graders figure out the sales tax on the price of two 65 inch Samsung TVs during the annual Math Amazing Race held at Costco in Santa Clarita recently.
 ?? Dan Watson/The SIgnal ?? (Top left) A team of Fair Oaks Ranch Community School fifth and sixth-graders ask what are the largest and smallest Costco stores in the United States as they talk to Costco employees Carlos Cordova, second from right, and Deanna Torres, right, during the annual Math Amazing Race event held at Costco. (Bottom left) Fair Oaks Ranch Community School fifth and sixth-graders from left, Daniel Jung, Cody Chavez and Kean Hinola are tasked with finding out the cheaper option for a graduation party with fifty attendees. (Top right) A team of Fair Oaks Ranch Community School fifth and sixth-graders head to the bakery. (Bottom right) Fair Oaks Ranch Community School fifth-grader Brady Curry, center, and sixth-grader Ethan Anthony, right, check the price of diapers.
Dan Watson/The SIgnal (Top left) A team of Fair Oaks Ranch Community School fifth and sixth-graders ask what are the largest and smallest Costco stores in the United States as they talk to Costco employees Carlos Cordova, second from right, and Deanna Torres, right, during the annual Math Amazing Race event held at Costco. (Bottom left) Fair Oaks Ranch Community School fifth and sixth-graders from left, Daniel Jung, Cody Chavez and Kean Hinola are tasked with finding out the cheaper option for a graduation party with fifty attendees. (Top right) A team of Fair Oaks Ranch Community School fifth and sixth-graders head to the bakery. (Bottom right) Fair Oaks Ranch Community School fifth-grader Brady Curry, center, and sixth-grader Ethan Anthony, right, check the price of diapers.
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