Mathematical Summer

We all know that this summer was unlike any we had seen before, but at BAMM we found new ways to keep sharing our live for math.

We took our first steps in the virtual world with COSI. BAMM had loved participating in the very first COSI SciFest on 2019, and we were already planning great things for the second edition, so it seemed only natural to try virtualizing at least some of our activities. We ran a short activity consisting on a snail race game and talked about dice and probability. The greatest thing about virtuality, I find, is that it is really easy to record your event and keep it for posterity. So if you missed this our COSI Science Festival event, you can watch it here (as many times as you want!).

That was back in May and we were ready for bigger things. A virtual summer camp? Why not! In 2018, a group of people at the Department of Mathematics had started the summer camp for high school girls that gave birth to BAMM. We couldn’t simply cancel that. Students had been applying since December, we just couldn’t leave them without their dose of summer math fun.

So we ran the summer camp, with no budget since the university was on financial cut, and even made it grow. We opened the camp to include boys and had a high school and a middle school edition.

Because we received way more applications than we could possibly accept, but we didn’t want to leave anyone out, we created a third edition of the camp, opened to anyone interested, including teachers and adults in general. What’s more, all the camp content will remain freely available online for a whole year, so you never go short on math fun. Join here, try the activities at your own pace and earn a badge for each challenge you complete!

Some awesome numbers:

  • 518 applications received
  • 85 high school students and 77 middle schoolers accepted
  • 192 auto-enrolled students for the open version
  • 22 different activities plus 18 project options
  • More than 2000 assignment submissions
  • Thousands of posts on the online platform
  • More than 1500 badges granted
  • 90 certificates of completion issued
  • About 15 hours in Zoom calls
  • 5 organizers/instructors

And 14 amazing volunteers without whom we would have never been able to reach those numbers and so we are forever thankful to them: professors Veronica Ciocanel and Cosmin Roman, undergraduate and graduate students Shreeya Behera, Kacey Clark, Robert Dixon, Nick Geis, KT Goldstein, Torey Hilbert, Peter Huston, Hannah Johnson, Michael Lane, Angela Li, Niko Schonsheck, and Vicki Simmerman.

Our deepest gratitude goes to Tom Evans as well, Manager of Open Learning at ODEE, our Canvas guru, for setting up the online platform for the camp.

Working on that project was a very enriching experience in many ways, and we hope students enjoyed it as much as we at BAMM did.

Our last summer activity was a workshop for teachers, in the context of an Interdisciplinary Professional Development Series, joint work with several OSU units: the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center, the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, the Museum of Biological Diversity, the Arne Slettebak Planetarium, Generation Rx (College of Pharmacy), and BAMM. In the math session, 40 teachers learned an awesome guess-the-number magic trick based on binary numbers and got ideas for how to use it in the classroom.

We are almost like fish in the water in the virtual world now and have great things in store for the Fall. Keep an eye on our calendar to learn about the upcoming events.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *