The 125 students at Math Camp dazzled us with their creativity, problem solving, persistence as they explored the mathematics in activities from art to ziplining.
Several students stood out to us as leaders in their Master Math projects, and were honored with the Arnold O. Beckman & MIND Research Institute Award of Excellence in Math Exploration. The students were selected not because they knew more math than the other campers, but because they demonstrated a thirst for learning and a positive attitude that inspired everyone around them, adults and students alike.
Bianca: In a program that included advanced mathematical concepts that were above her grade level, Bianca showed an enthusiasm for tackling challenging activities in the Natural Math project. When her teammates felt defeated as their first attempt at a project failed, she kept going, with an inquisitive nature and desire to grow that inspired everyone around her.
Katelin: This young woman refuses to give up. In the Beautfy of Math project, which combined art and math, she provided highly original thinking and asked many meaningful questions. She was inquisitive and encouraged team collaboration.
Madison: As a participant in the Math Clan Games, Madison actively added math content to her game to improve learning. She was comfortable voicing her opinions, but remained open to others' feedback and suggestions -- and was always very polite. She consistantly sought out new challenges for herself and her teammates.
Sebastian: This young man has music in his soul. He was very enthusiaistic and always encouraged his fellow campers to keep going. He could be seen working independently to create his own dance choreography based on the Math Moves lessons.
The awards were presented by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, with board member Jerry Gallwas and executive director Anne Hultgren, Ph.D. on hand to congratulate the students.
Hultgren told students that she had struggled with math in middle school, before going on to love calculus and physics, which she eventually earned a doctorate in.
"As you continue with math, and you continue to grow, at some point you're going to have a challenge and you're going to say, 'I don't get this,'" said Hultgren. "What Math Camp does is show you that math is everywhere and there's a different way to look at it and a different way to solve that problem."