Sunday, August 28, 2016

CAMP Day 5

Friday marked our final day of CAMP. Despite the sadness of the end of the Bard Math Circle CAMP quickly approaching, we were able to have an awesome and fun last day that began with our mathematicians working to solve a number of math problems and puzzles. Some of the problems were taken from the AMC, a competition that Bard Math Circle hosts at Bard every year, while others were found by our high school volunteers to let our mathematicians warm up their brains! These bright young students were able to whiz through many of these problems on their own and the more difficult ones they discussed with their peers to try to find a solution.

Our schedule was a little different for our last day. We had gotten far enough in our math class to combine the class with computer science! Side by side, we compared a list of how to create fractals geometrically, mirrored by the code that would be entered into the program in NetLogo to achieve the same transformation of a figure. Together, we learned the specific code that creates a scaling transformation and the code that translates our x-coordinates. Then, we split up in pairs to input this code and try to discover the specific commands that would program the proper translation of the y-coordinates. We all came up with the code that will generate the Sierpinski triangle in NetLogo and then some of us even went on to develop the code that would create other fractals from the Yale Fractal Lab worksheet that we had received in math class the day before. We were able to learn how to turn the rules we discovered the day before into code that would create these fractals!

After lunch we returned to the RKC to finish up what we needed to in art and to take a short break before returning to class. Some students who had been learning the algorithms of the Rubik's cubes over the last few days, picked up a few of the cubes to practice and show their new skills to their friends. Some students even helped others who had not been to any of the Rubik's cube activities to see how to start solving the Rubik's cube.

In art class we finished designing and altering our fractal lamps in order to have them ready to present to our parents and friends at the open house that was happening at the end of the day. After finishing the creation of the lamps we discussed the installation of our art pieces and ventured out into the lobby of the RKC building (as well as some other rooms in the building) to install our art in beautiful and interesting ways. Some of the lamps were placed in a dark room with lights strategically placed within them. While others were attached to strings and then hung over the railings above the lobby. The lamps hung perfectly in front of the windows letting the light shine through them in just the right way to display the beautiful ways in which we had cut and sculpted the paper to make the lamps: finally now illuminated in the way they were meant to be.

After some final preparations of our computer programs and art pieces we were ready for our open house! Parents began to arrive and the students were able to showcase their accomplishments of the week. In one room the computer screens were filled with the wonderful and fascinating results of the code that the students had been writing to create fractals that we had learned about in math class. In the lobby one could see marbled paper and fractal lamps hanging from the second floor in front of the big windows and installed in tactical places to highlight the beauty and individuality of each piece of art. And in one room the lights were turned off to let the lamps really shine! The dark room showcased the amazing shadows that could be created by a light shining through the intricate lamps. After sharing with the parents, the staff was introduced and brief announcements were made before the Bard Math Circle CAMP of 2016 came to a close. Every student in the program this summer was absolutely brilliant and a joy to work with. Thank you to every student mathematician and staff member that made this amazing week the success that it was!


-Meagan (with the help of some amazing math CAMP friends!)