CSU Math Camp Connects Female Students with Professional Role Models

Local Professionals, High School Girls Welcome to Join June 6-10 Program

For a second consecutive year, Columbus State University will enable local high school girls to experience mathematics as it translates to the professional world.

Organized by CSU's Columbus Regional Mathematics Collaborative, Math CIRCLES (Community and Industry Role Models Creating Learning Experiences) targets female students entering grades 10-12. They visit local job sites and interact with local professionals, especially female role models who use math in their jobs.

Students may still sign up for the June 6-10 program, which accommodates up to 20 students paying $75 each. Register through the "Summer Camps" link at the CRMC website or call 706-568-2480. Information about financial aid for summer camps is also available on the website.

Area businesses and professionals are welcome to participate this year by contacting CRMC Director Kenneth Jones at 706-568-2480 or CSU education professor Gayle Herrington at 706-568-5391. Herrington initiated the program by securing a grant from the Mathematical Association of America and the Tensor Foundation.

The program, designed to increase female participation in mathematics, debuted last year. Participants visited East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Aflac, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Columbus Regional Airport, where the students spoke with an air traffic controller, a pilot and flew in a plane over Columbus.

“Some type of mathematics is used in just about every business,” said Jones. “A lot of industries in our area use statistics to help manage production, geometry in designing products, or a variety of mathematical processes to help make decisions. We’re looking for people who can show the girls that mathematics is useful.”

While this year's field study destinations are being arranged, Herrington and Jones, with mathematics professors Ben Kamau and Inessa Levi, will direct classroom lessons demonstrating various math applications to complement the visits to area businesses and industries. “We hope the high school students develop a greater appreciation and enthusiasm for mathematics by interacting with faculty and community role models,” said Herrington.

In turn, the high school students have an opportunity to serve as role models and mentors during June 20-24 CRMC math camps for elementary and middle grades students.

Math CIRCLES participants also receive mentoring and support during the school year and participate in two Saturday follow-up sessions during the year. “The opportunity to volunteer in the camps and to make presentations to the younger students gives the high school girls a chance to share their enthusiasm for mathematics by serving as role models themselves,” said Herrington.

The collaborative, located in CSU's Cunningham Center, serves more than 17 school systems with student and teacher development services through classroom resources, workshops and more. For more information, visit http://ColumbusState.edu/crmc