Thursday, July 10, 2014

Event adds up to a good time

Wyoming Seminary holds ‘Math-tastic Saturday’ to get students interested in subject

January 18. 2014 10:34PM
RALPH NARDONE Times Leader Correspondent

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KINGSTON — A blustery wintry morning with a thick covering of morning snow did not deter over 50 area youths from participating in the first “Math-tastic Saturday” event held at the Wyoming Seminary Lower School in Forty Fort.

Organizers said the students enjoyed mathematics through a variety of “games, activities and events.”

Rachel Bartron, director of the fledgling Louis Maslow STEM School at Wyoming Seminary, called the turnout “fabulous.”

The event was open to all with about thirty percent of participants arriving from other area schools, she said.

“We believe all students should be fluent in math,” Bartron said. “It encourages valuable problem solving and analytic thinking skills.”

The students gathered at the event didn’t just crunch numbers, she emphasized, they spent time conquering brainteasers, were guided through provocative math lessons and exercised their creativity through math-centered arts and crafts. A group of students created quite an impressive labyrinth, she said.

Using math to solve spacing puzzles or play other math-oriented games allows children to learn while having a “great time,” Bartron said. In addition, the members of the groups were encouraged to collaborate on their assignments which helped drive the fun, she added.

When children have fun they just learn better, she said.

Lower school teachers and upper school students worked together to keep the groups moving along, Bartron said. They were divided into three groups by grade.

Hoang Ann Phan, a senior at Wyoming Seminary and co-leader of the math club and science research group, helped Bartron and the other teachers conduct the event.

She said the younger students were a little uncomfortable before they got into the games.

“They were crying at first but then they became very involved,” Phan said. “They worked with each other which is very important.”

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