Mysteries in Math


*This course is intended for lower elementary students


Class Schedule

Wednesdays 5:00-5:50 pm PST

April 24, May 1, May 8, May 15, May 22


Note: Classes are listed in PST, click below to convert time to your time zone.

Course Overview

Small Group Advanced Math

This 5-week course will be a maximum of 3 students in this amazing opportunity to work with Master Teacher, Dr. Peter Koehler.

This course consists of a variety of different segments. We may follow some interesting pathways through the times tables, and have fun wondering, asking questions, finding answers, and hopefully being entertained as we solve little mysteries and make discoveries while we practice the four operations along the way. This is also an opportunity for the artists amongst us to nurture our artistic creativity by making colorful creations, blending art and math. Topics may include: palindromes, Fibonacci, etc and will be lead by student interest, guided by Dr. Koehler.

*Materials Required: 

  • 1cm graph paper
  • blank paper
  • colored pencils
  • cm/inch ruler
  • scissors
  • scotch tape
  • colored markers
  • interlocking blocks sold as Omnifix blocks that Peter recommends. Please let us know if you have trouble accessing the materials!
**Please Note: Our Mysteries in Math sessions are part of an ever changing revolving door of topics- it is unlikely that a student repeating the course would encounter the same topic twice because the field is so rich and wide.

Student Experience

Pattern Seeker




Your Teacher: Dr. Peter Koehler

Peter Koehler holds a PhD in theoretical and elementary particle physics from Royal Holloway College, University of London; a master’s degree from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London; and carried out post-doc studies in the theory group at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center before becoming a math enrichment teacher at Nueva, where he has been teaching for over 20 years. At Nueva, Peter has become particularly interested in encouraging and fostering mathematical creativity in his students and was awarded a fellowship from Johns Hopkins University for excellence in teaching in 2012. He enjoys showing his students the surprising ways in which math can be used to describe aspects of the natural world. Inspired by the work of the Pythagoreans, he has developed an approach to elementary math teaching where the students use colored interlinking blocks and follow a few simple rules to visualize numbers; look for patterns, shapes, and sequences; make their own mathematical creations; and develop a sense of the more general principles of mathematics. He has found that this approach stimulates interest and enthusiasm for math, is a great motivator, and can spark mathematical creativity, originality, and a joy in the subject, and can lead to more intriguing and advanced aspects of math.

Peter has been a regular presenter at the Nueva ILC conferences and will be presenting a paper at the 11th International Conference on Mathematical Creativity and Giftedness in Hamburg, Germany, in 2019. He has taught independent enrichment programs at several Bay Area schools and the University of Santa Cruz extension. A painter in his spare time, Peter has run visual arts summer camps throughout the Bay Area for the past 25 years. He has also written plays for children.