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Summer camp fosters passion for mathematics

19 young children wearing blue t-shirts standing in front of the Mountainlair

Sponsored by the WVU School of Mathematical and Data Sciences and the Mathematical Association of America's Dolciani Mathematics Enrichment Grant, the summer camp aims to engage local students in grades 4-8 with the exciting world of mathematics.

Hosted by the Morgantown Math Circle, 19 students participated in the first one-week camp from June 5-9. Nine middle school students delved into a wide range of topics, including combinatorics, number theory and algebra, under the guidance of WVU professors John Goldwasser, Galyna Voitiuk and Qingtian Zhang.

Ten elementary school students participated in classes led by professors Rong Luo and Fang Yang; Austin Luo, a student from Morgantown High School and founder of the Morgantown Math Circle; and Samantha Guenther, a student from University High School. 

An immersive learning experience was provided to elementary students through hands-on activities, such as Sudoku puzzles and constructing a simple catapult, which showcased the practical applications of mathematics in everyday life. They also explored topics such as probability, set theory and algebra while tackling engaging math problems. 

Participants also had the opportunity to embark on several field trips including visits to the WVU Planetarium and Observatory, Lane Innovation Hub, Interactive Robotics Lab and the NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation Laboratory. These excursions provided the students with an enriched understanding of the applications of mathematics in different fields.

The camp concluded with a ceremony to acknowledge and reward the students' hard work. Prizes and recognition were given to commend their dedication and achievements during the camp, ensuring they left with a sense of accomplishment and a passion for mathematics.

Students and parents gave high praise to the camp by saying, “It was a fantastic camp, and I had a blast while learning new things,” and “Our child loved every moment of it, couldn't stop talking about it every day and eagerly anticipated participating the next day. It has had a tremendous impact on their interest in math and their attitude towards learning.”