Sunday, 2 August 2015

Numeric Math Camp Fun

A few weeks ago, some of my colleagues and I got to spend a morning at the Numeric Math Camp which was held over the course of a week at UCT. We got to interact and chat to learners from Gr 6 - Gr 8 and really had a fun time. 

Numeric is an after school program which uses Khan Academy to expose learners in low income areas to maths and aims to improve maths scores in those areas by focussing on the basics and letting learners go at their own pace. To find out a bit more about Numeric, click here. This maths camp gives some of the top learners in the program a chance to gain some more exposure to maths in a fun and engaging environment and find out why maths is relevant later in life. 

I gave a fun talk on "My Maths Story", where I shared my maths journey. Starting from the age of 16, I explained the impact of Maths and Computer Science on my life and how Maths enabled me to pursue a career in Engineering and Software Development. I also explored the various careers I was interested in over the course of my schooling, illustrating how Maths was required in order to study all of the degrees I was interested in. I explained one or two simple engineering concepts that require maths and finished off with a few maths tips that I have learnt along the way.

It's always a bit nerve-wrecking standing in front of a lecture hall (probably the engineer in me coming out) and I often find that it takes me a few minutes to settle into my presentation and get comfortable in front of a big group of people, but by the time I had established that the majority of these kids knew about the CSI and NCIS TV programs, I had got into my stride and really enjoyed giving the rest of my presentation, you should hopefully be able to click through my presentation below*. The rest of the morning my colleagues played some fun maths activities with the learners, teaching them about binary numbers, the basics of image processing, sorting logic and ordering. 

Numeric also put together a video of their 2015 Math Camp - see if you can spot me!

* I used Prezi to create this presentation, it's a great alternative to Power Point!

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  1. Ah, this is super cool, Cath! I'm a bit slow to catch up with blog posts, but how awesome that UCT does this! My husband is a maths teacher and has been using Khan academy with kids in Sweetwaters. It's a bit of a learning curve for them at first to get used to the computer, but once they learn how to find answers to their questions, they can plug away, which is awesome. We didn't know anyone else who was using it in SA, so that's super cool to hear!

    1. Ah, great to hear from you Steph! It's a really great initiative and I know Khan Academy has been a huge motivator for so many of these kids. Also great to hear that there are others out there, like your husband, who are also using it - interestingly my contact at Numeric is also from the States, if you ever need her details let me know :)

      On a different note, I have to say, I love reading your posts from your blog, I love that they challenge me to stop and think or put into words so eloquently what I'm thinking and feeling, so keep up the good work! I hope the move to Texas has gone alright and you guys are settling in :)