Math camp adds up to a fun time



Article Published: Jul. 8, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Math camp adds up to a fun time

ASU's fun-filled Math Camp returns July 12-15.

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Games, fun and socialization. It may not be what you think of when you think math, but Dr. Anita Kitchens is out to change your perception. After all, according to her, you don't have to like numbers to have fun at Math Camp.

"They don't have to like math," she said. "They can hate it. They can love it, but everybody knows they've got to get better at it ... whether they like it or not, that's not important. What's important is that they come and just be a part."

The camp, open to rising sixth through 12th graders, is set up in teams with coaches, "more like a basketball camp," she said, and is all about boosting confidence.

"We will tell them that it's important for them to believe in themselves and to not let anybody convince them that they cannot do math," Kitchens said. "Technique is a big part of whether they understand something ... when you get the right technique, you'll pretty much have it."

Learning styles have a lot to do with it, and math camp instructors will spend time with kids, helping them adjust their style to the material at hand.

"The bottom line is you have to work hard," she said. "You've got to try your best, and you've got to go with the ups and downs ... It has nothing to do with ability."

In other words, there's no such thing as a "math person" versus an "English person."

"Actually, you use the same logic in writing an English paper," she said.

Putting yourself in a category of "math person" or otherwise is just an excuse, she said. And parents, whether they know it or not, can contribute to the misconception.

"They think if they're not a 'math person,' their child isn't a 'math person,'" she said.

Heredity has nothing to do with it: It's all about hard work, not that you'd know it from your time at Math Camp.

"It's very active, first of all," Kitchens said. "They never sit down, hardly ... there's a game every night, and they'll meet other kids. We'll get 120 kids up there. There's nobody frowning. Everybody's smiling. Everybody's having a big time."

And everybody's learning.

"There's no reason why anyone should have any trouble if you just keep asking questions and you keep that hand up," she said. "Hopefully, when school starts, they say to themselves, 'I know what to do. I know what to do to do better,' and the kids who love it already, they'll just understand a little bit better why they love it and have fortified strength."

It all adds up to a good time.

Math Camp starts Monday, July 12, and there's still time to sign your kids up.

Appalachian State University's Math Camp runs July 12 through July 15 in Walker Hall on the corner of Rivers Street and Bodenheimer Drive and costs $120 per student. The camp is from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, check out http://www.conferences-camps.appstate.edu/academic/mathcamp.php or call program director Dr. Anita Kitchens at (828) 264-0181.

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