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Summer math camps to spark love of learning

Summer math camps to spark love of learning

Students work on constructing geodesic domes out of toothpicks and marshmallows at the PREP Math & Science Academy at California State University, Stanislaus.


POSTED July 7, 2015 7:53 p.m.

Just like the temperature, math skills can also potentially warm up during summer vacation through a series of math camps made available to regional students at California State University, Stanislaus.

Through the university’s Math Grants department, the California Mathematics Project and the Math and Science Teacher Initiative, students entering sixth grade through ninth grade are able to take advantage of the Algebra Math camp and the Pre-Freshmen Enrichment Program Math & Science Academy.

For students preparing to embark on seventh grade through ninth grade that are also looking to enhance their math skills and understanding are encouraged to take advantage of the Algebra Math Camp.

“This camp is for students who come to the university needing to fill the gaps in their math skills and understanding,” said Mathematics Professor and Department of Math Grants Director Dr. Viji K Sundar.

“These camps give them more assistance in a different way in a smaller classroom, while also sticking to one subject to provide a truly in-depth understanding of the curriculum,” continued Sundar.

The Algebra Camp is designed to give students an understanding of algebraic concepts using algebra tiles, algebra balance puzzles, learning wraps and games among others.

“This camp will use some modeling techniques with manipulatives to give students a better understanding of each problem,” said Sundar. “Students will learn how to see problems in different ways.”

Sundar reported that this camp also gives classroom teachers and pre-service teachers the opportunity to try out new lessons in order to enrich, enhance and provide stimulus to what will be taught in the classroom.

“These classes give classroom teachers and pre-service teachers the time and resources to try some of the lessons they want to do, but because of time restraints they are unable to do,” said Sundar.

The Algebra Camp is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through June 17 in the CSU Stanislaus Demergasso-Bava Hall in rooms P101 and P104. Registration costs $50 per student and supplies will be included.

Also available during the summer months for students preparing to enter sixth grade through eighth grade is the PREP Math & Science Academy, which will enhance their cognitive, reasoning and critical thinking skills.

According to Sundar, the university began to offer this camp in 1992 with a grant from the United States Department of Energy after a study revealed that not enough students were taking math and science courses at the college level.

“This was because not enough students were taking math and science classes at the high school and junior high level,” explained Sundar. “This grant allowed us to implement hands-on, fun exercises in math and science for students to encourage them to take more math and science classes.”

Sundar reported that once the grant funding exhausted after four years, the university made the decision to sustain the program in response to overwhelming community support.

Through the PREP Math & Science Academy, students will work together to learn how to solve real world life problems. By the end of the course, each student’s ability to think cognitively and critically will be greatly enhanced.

“They will be solving problems the way that problems really get solved in the real world,” said Sundar. “This class will challenge them at every level.”

“I believe that every student has a spark in them, so it is our responsibility to fan that spark so they are fired up to learn,” added Sundar.

The PREP Math & Science Academy is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. July 20 through July 24 in the CSU Stanislaus Dorothy & Bill Bizzini Hall lobby. Registration costs $250 per student and supplies will be included.

To register for either the Algebra Camp or the PREP Math & Science Academy, visit commerce.cashnet.com/Math1. For more information, call 667-3780 or visit csustan.edu/math/grants-programs.

 

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