The math class at Vampy is only three days underway, and already we have seen great excitement and growth from our students. They are working through a plethora of courses, ranging from Algebra 2 to Calculus III. As they learn at their own pace, they are able to ask questions that challenge even the best of teachers to prove the intricate details of mathematics.
On Monday of this week, our campers had the opportunity to hear Dr. Claus Ernst, a professor at WKU, give a presentation on knot theory, which has applications in the field of biology. Students were shown simulations of the ways in which knots could be coded into a computer program. Then they were able to do some coding of their own by hand! Activities like these are designed for our young mathematicians to experience the many applications of mathematics in the world around them.
During the afternoons and in study hall, campers have the opportunity to participate in problem solving sessions where they experience mathematics as true mathematicians do: in a collaborative environment. Working with other students, they are given problems that, in many cases, cannot be solved using a calculator or one specific formula. Putting their heads together, they are often able to come up with multiple different methods for reaching a single solution. Campers then have the opportunity to take ownership of their work by explaining their unique ideas for arriving at the correct answer.
As VAMPY continues, we look forward to seeing our campers continue to challenge themselves and one another. If the first three days have been any indication, it is going to be a fun ride!