Summer math camp was win-win for student teachers, local middle school students

For immediate release…
Monday – Sept. 2, 2013


HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Northern Kentucky University presented a unique weeklong mathematics camp for local middle school students this summer. The camp was run entirely by undergraduate NKU students.

Those students, called Noyce Scholars and Prime Interns, were supervised by NKU professors Dr. Bethany Noblitt and Dr. Brooke Buckley, co-primary investigators on a federal grant that funds the program. With their help, Noyce Scholars (undergraduate students planning to graduate within four semesters who are committed to teaching in a high-need district) and Prime Interns (incoming NKU freshmen or rising sophomores who have expressed preliminary interest in secondary mathematics education) coordinated and executed the camp.

The NKU faculty members met with the student organizers four hours each day during the two weeks leading up to the camp to help prepare the week’s schedule, which included a problem-solving activity, a crime-scene investigation, the construction of a scaled movie prop and a bungee-jumping Barbie doll. Each activity was planned to tie directly to Kentucky’s Common Core Standards for Mathematics for middle-grades students.

The camp, which was offered through NKU’s Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM), was the first of its kind at NKU. Dr. Buckley said the goal was simple – to get the students excited about teaching and learning mathematics. And it succeeded. Twelve middle-grades students from northern Kentucky and southern Ohio participated in the camp.

“They learned so much!” Dr. Buckley said. “It is rewarding for the students to see the middle schoolers get it. That is what they loved about it.”

Funding for the camp came from a $897,690 Preparing Regional Increases in Mathematics Educators (PRIME) grant issued by the National Science Foundation (grant number 0934709). The goal of the PRIME program is to increase the number and effectiveness of high school mathematics teachers in the region. Eleven Prime Interns have been funded and 23 Noyce Scholars have received scholarships through the program.

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