Reflections: Extreme Math Camp 2016

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Extreme Math Camp 2016
Amanda Culver

This month, twenty-five students from across Saskatoon decided to delay their summer holidays in order to engage in three days of mathematics enrichment at Extreme Math Camp 2016. Presenters from Saskatchewan and Ontario were brought together on July 4th-6th to offer new perspectives and new challenges to mathletes from Grades 7 to 10.

Peter O’Hara (left), Michael Minou (right)

Michael Miniou (Outreach Officer for the Centre for Mathematics Education and Computing at the University of Waterloo, Ontario) shared his angle on analytical geometry and demonstrated real-life applications of mathematics. String-drawing techniques introduced students to indirect proofs for conic sections.

Peter O’Hara (retired math teacher from London, Ontario) challenged students, presenters, volunteers, and teacher supervisors with a wide variety of pigeonhole and parity puzzles.

Dr. Gareth Griffith (retired mathematics professor from the University of Saskatchewan) gave students a historical account of Euler and Plato, two famous mathematicians, and their influence on modern-day topology, via storytelling.

Peter O’Hara working through a problem with a student

Andrew Kim and Daniel Zhou (senior students at Walter Murray Collegiate Institute and Centennial Collegiate, respectively) shared their understandings of number theory and engaged students in various problem-solving opportunities.

Stavros Stavrou (Outreach Officer at the University of Saskatchewan) provided students with a hands-on experience related to cryptography, building on knowledge from last year’s Math Camp.

Throughout the three days, students were consistently challenged as they explored various aspects of mathematics from some of the best presenters our country has to offer. Team problem-solving activities and opportunities to play a variety of logic and geometrical games provided additional learning experiences.  Special thanks goes out to two of Walter Murray’s top math students, Yiwen Li and Rylan Smith, who helped make each day run smoothly, and to Saskatchewan Mathematics Teachers’ Society, the Department of Math and Statistics at the Univeristy of Saskatchewan, and the Saskatoon Public School Board for providing funds to make the math camp possible.

Here’s what some students had to say:

  • “3 days isn’t enough… We need a semester!”
  • “I love how involved we were and the enthusiasm. Way more of a challenge than school (which I loved).”
  • “I really enjoyed how enthusiastic all the speakers were. It was more fun than I thought it was going to be!”

We also captured the attention of the media! Be sure to read more at:

Be on the lookout for information about next year’s Extreme Math Camp, to be held at the end of the 2016/2017 school year, in May 2017.  Any inquiries can be made to Janet Christ or Amanda Culver (of Walter Murray Collegiate Institute, 306-683-7850) or Cam Milner (of Centennial Collegiate, 306-683-7950).

We hope to see your students there!

2016 May - profileAmanda Culver has been a French and mathematics secondary teacher within the province of Saskatchewan for four years. She aims to make her classroom a safe and supportive space to be and to learn mathematics. Amanda’s closet is full of math t-shirts, and she got a “pi” tattoo on Ultimate Pi Day. Needless to say, she loves math!

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