We are officially at the halfway point of VAMPY 2016, and our math campers have already shown tremendous growth! As a TA, it has been exciting for me to see students who at first were shy begin to gain confidence in their problem-solving abilities. As they teach themselves new material, they have begun to ask about not only the “whats” of mathematics, but also the “whys.” Many students have already completed half of their text books and are consistently scoring A’s and B’s on their tests.
While students spend the majority of their class time working independently on a specific course, they have also been exposed to a variety of mathematical applications. During study halls, students often work in teams to solve problems that the rest of us were exposed to in our college math classes.
On one afternoon, students witnessed the math behind projectile motion and wind resistance as Dr. Kessler shot a cup off an inflatable Big Red’s head with a Nerf gun. (Don’t worry… Big Red is safe and well!) Currently, students are learning about the real world applications of geometry through origami. In all instances, students’ excitement and appreciation for mathematics has been palpable.
As we enter into the second half of VAMPY, we are excited to watch students grow both in their mathematical understanding, and in their ability to work together towards a common goal. If the first week and a half have been any indication, I don’t think we will be disappointed!