On Thursday September 24, 41 Mathematical enthusiasts from Years 5 to 9 at Covenant Christian School, Tyndale Christian School, Illawarra Christian School and Southern Highlands Christian School arrived at Camp Kedron for the 3rd annual Maths Camp. All these schools are part of Christian Education National. This year the theme was World Cup Maths, and after some getting-to-know-you games, the students were introduced to the members of their team, given a team t-shirt and asked to come up with a Mathematical name for their team. Of particular note were Pi red squared (red team), Circumference in Crisis, the Denominators and Cos we're cool!
And so the competition began.....Students would compete in a number of groupwork and individual tasks throughout the camp, having lots of fun and earning points along the way.
In the first session, the students were introduced to the great game of 'multo' and 'make 20', and participated in a game of 'Probtionary ' - like pictionary, but with problem-solving activities to complete. Some of the teams worked together well, and were able to complete some challenging problem-solving activities in this session.
After a wonderful lunch, the students went to session 2 - they learned how to play 'Greedy' - a game that uses a certain amount of luck, but also tests their understanding of probability! We then had a bridge-building competition. The task was to build a bridge that was at least 40cm long, that when suspended between two tables, could hold a glass of water for two minutes. The materials were paddle-pop sticks ($5 each), straws ($1 each) and sticky tape ($1 per metre). There were many interesting designs, and the winning team was the team that could complete the task using the cheapest materials. Students showed their flair for engineering and revelled in the task.
At the end of the first day the scores were close across all teams. We certainly noticed that the teams that were willing to work together were already gaining great success in the various competitions.
Students enjoyed an afternoon of sport in the hall, or a bush walk to the water hole for an opportunity to get to know one another a little better.
A nice evening meal was followed by the Maths and Cartoon delegates joining together for a fun night of trivia. These students showed that they were not only good at maths and cartooning, but had other gifts to share as well. Of particular note was Mr Rusin's acronym competition - a contest where letters were given to the students, who would then think of an interesting possible acronym to explain the letters! Mr Tatzenko had a snake-tying competition (lolly snakes of course) - and some students were able to tie a snake without using their hands - impressive stuff! We all went off to bed after a fun and exhausting day!
Day 2 brought new challenges to the students. In session 3 of the maths camp, students learned how to solve Ken Ken puzzles, a skill that would help them in the next activity. For the next hour or so, students would compete in a challenging Amazing Race activity. Students began in the top hall, and had to solve a puzzle in order to obtain their next clue and race around the camp site. For many students this activity was a highlight of the camp. Some of the challenges included solving Tangram Puzzles with Mrs Mekerdichian, Tower of Hanoi with Mr Muddle, a Road Block with Mr Tatzenko - choosing to bounc on the trampoline or roll the dice! Students also had to solve Tantrix puzzles, shoot basketballs, and make a long string from a Mintie wrapper with Mr Morton. The red and orange teams were neck and neck throughout the race, and the orange team made it to the finish line just ahead, sinking a billiard ball to win the Amazing Race. Exciting stuff!
In the last session, students had 1.5 minutes at each activity (45 in all) - they moved around the room solving graded problems. There were problems related to number patterns, measurement (volume and surface area of a fantale), Maths with cooking, Maths with shopping, Maths and geometry, and various other challenges.
At the end of the two day competition, students had worked hard and learned more about their strengths and weaknesses in Mathematics. I was pleased to see a number of the students growing in self-confidence in regard to Mathematics - and I trust they had a good time along the way.
For the record - the red team won. I would have to say the way the red team worked together as a group, encouraging each other, gave them the edge. Congratulations to Levi Cantrill (CCS), Jason Heriot (ICS) Hannah Parker (CCS) Mitchel Purkis (CCS), Angus Leung (CCS) Simeon Cavens (TCS) and Madeleine Wighton (ICS) for a wonderful effort.
A big thank you to Greg Clark, Carl Edwardes and Phil Crowley from Camp Kedron who did a wonderful job in looking after us - they were very helpful and the food was sensational!
Praise God for wonderful weather and the opportunity to make some new friends and have a great time exploring the wonderful world of Mathematics.