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LU camp enhances students' math skills

Twenty-three students enhanced their mathematics skills at the Lamar Achievement in Mathematics Program (LAMP), a two-week free residential camp for high school students entering 10th and 11th grades.Madison Lozano in haptics lab

“Everything I’ve learned here is brand new to me,” said Daijah Henson of Beaumont. “I had never seen calculus before. We learned how to derive formulas in geometry and also about different careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

The camp, now in its third year, selects students who show an interest in learning about mathematics so they can advance their skills. Students also have the chance to explore career opportunities in the field. The camp ran from June 20 to July 1.

"My primary goal is for students to leave LAMP with a new appreciation for mathematics and all of the sciences,” said Sandra Richardson, director of the Lamar Achievement in Mathematics Program and associate professor of math and education at Lamar University. “I want them to experience the internal joy of critical thinking and analyzing mathematical scenarios and problems.”

Other students participating were Jarvaris Curl, Christa Dunaven, Cameron Frank, Te’Roneka Hill, Myles Mouton, Jamoni Paskel, Shelby Scott, Natalie Thibodeaux and Alexis Wheaton of Beaumont; Manaswi Marri of Cypress; Cao Truong and Hoaihuong Truong of Dickinson; Morgan Carter of Fort Bend; Alayna Huckleby of Katy; Patrick Ma of League City; Steve Goin of Livingston; Madison Lozano of Lumberton; Shelby Stanfield of Manvel; Daniella Church, Cole Ogrydziak and Summer Ogrydziak of Nederland; and Paige Ousley of Orange.

“I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in math, and this camp has made me realize that I want to study pure math instead of applied math,” said Stanfield. “I want to explore math and learn new things about it every single day.”

Students attended classes that focused on problem-solving, study and research. Classes included game theory, calculus concepts and modeling in mathematics, geometrical reasoning and introduction to proof course. They also worked in groups on math projects and took a field trip to NASA in Houston.

“LAMP classes and activities are very different from traditional high school classes. The students take courses that most students don't have any experience with until college,” Richardson said. “All LAMP courses are taught by college professors in a collegiate environment.”

Richardson and Freddie Titus, both faculty members at Lamar University, taught the courses along with David Torain, visiting professor from Hampton University. Alys Rodriguez, a graduate student in the Department of Mathematics, was the LAMP counselor and camp mentor. LAMP

Scholars also interacted with undergraduate and graduate students in the Lamar University STAIRSTEP program through participation in a robotics lab and geology treasure hunt. STAIRSTEP gives Lamar University students opportunities to participate in research, work with a faculty mentor, and reach out to local high school and college students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“The best part of this experience has been meeting new people and learning new lessons in mathematics,” said Cao Truong.

LAMP participants were advanced high school students wanting to learn more about the fields of mathematics and science.

For more information about the Lamar Achievement in Mathematics Program, contact Sandra Richardson at (409) 880-7946 or sandra.richardson@lamar.edu.