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Lycoming College hosted its annual Math Awareness Day for 70 eighth-grade students from regional schools on Feb. 21 in the College's Academic Center.
The theme was "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and students were exposed to a variety of fun math-based activities presented by the College students.
Participants rotated between four lessons taught by the Association for Mathematically Interested Students members: Up, Up, and Away taught by Jason Mifsud, a senior math major, and Jenna Morgan, a junior math major seeking education certification in secondary education; Soaring to New Heights taught by Carrie Tubbs, a sophomore math major, and Cortney Schoenberger, an actuarial math and quantitative economics major; Around the Race Track and Back taught by Zach McMenamin, a sophomore math major seeking education certification in secondary education, and Steve Campaniello, a junior math major; and Choo Choo taught by Ryan Boccagno and Brittany Coppola, both junior math majors seeking education certification in secondary education.
According to Mifsud, the students rehearsed and practiced projects and their PowerPoint presentations for about two months. By using interactive methods such as a NASCAR-themed game, a Battleship competition and flying paper airplanes, students learned about the quadratic table, fractions and multiplication, and velocity and distance.
The participants convened as a single group for the final activity of the day, a presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Moorhouse, assistant professor of economics. She presented Williamsport Air, which was about the economics of air travel from an airline's perspective.
"It is a major undertaking for our students," said Christopher Reed, AMIS' faculty adviser. "The club began initial planning and brainstorming for Math Awareness Day in September and began practicing teaching sessions in the beginning of January. Thanks to the students' dedication, everything ran smoothly and went extremely well. Feedback from the middle school teachers who attended with their students was positive with most teachers praising the hands-on activities and real-life situations using appropriate grade-level mathematics."
"There is a lot of work to be done behind the scenes as well," said Dr. Eileen Peluso, chair of the mathematical sciences department. "All of the logistics, from organizing speakers to scheduling classrooms to providing lunch for about 90 people, can be a daunting task. AMIS' president Jessica Lehman and vice president Meghan Hughes, along with assistance and tech support from Jared Richardson, did an outstanding job."
The mission of AMIS is "to provide social and academic programming for students to advance and diffuse knowledge of mathematical science and its applications."
Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.