Two classes of about 30 campers each typically work within their own grade-level grouping. For most class sessions, students work together at tables in randomized groups of four that change daily. Academic sessions take place in the College of Education and Human Development.
Mathematics topics addressed include problem solving, geometry, spatial skills, data analysis and probability (younger group only), and algebra (older group only). Technology components include calculator and computer use. Students use four-function and graphing calculators, as well as tool software ( Terrapin Logo and The Geometer's Sketchpad). Program participants also gain exposure to relatable role models in mathematical and technological fields by working with staff, hearing a guest speaker discuss use of mathematics and/or technology, and learning biographical information about contemporary and/or historical mathematicians and computer scientists.
Program staff includes an even mix of local veteran teachers and upper-division pre-service or beginning teachers. Two to three instructors are present in each classroom at all times. Another instructor, who has special expertise in mathematics software use, conducts the computer lab segments.
Instructors base their lessons on the Nevada Math Standards established for the grade level the students will enter in the fall. They employ research-based teaching methods endorsed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, including a constructivist orientation to learning. Students are expected to actively interact with and reflect on materials and ideas. Key pedagogical strategies include hands-on activity, mixed-ability collaborative group work, real-world applications, and problem solving and investigation in a supportive learning environment.
Camp participants and overnight staff engage in recreational activities each evening (such as roller skating and a movie night), and they stay in university residence halls and eat in the campus cafeteria. Parents are invited to participate in introductory and concluding activities.
Participants pay a registration fee that partially covers program costs. Funding sources offset remaining costs. Scholarships are available to participants with demonstrated financial need.
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