Submitted by Kelie Kennedy, Clover Park Technical College
Wednesday was the Math to Careers Middle School Conference at Clover Park Technical College. The college welcomed more than 1,000 eight graders to campus from two local middle schools and three different school districts.
The students were welcomed with a “magical” performance by Dr. Arthur Benjamin, also known as the Human Calculator. He incorporated some magic tricks in his presentation. Students got up close and were direct participants in Dr. Benjamin’s presentation which included various mental calculations, and sometimes quicker than an average hand-held calculator.
Students from Emerald Ridge High School were on hand to welcome students to campus, and two students from that high school produced a special Math Rap video titled, “Math is What You Do,” which played as the visiting students walked into the McGavick Student Center for Dr. Benjamin’s math performance.
During the four-hour event, eighth graders were entertained with hands-on math experiences all around campus.
1. Craig McCord, Assistant Head Football Coach from PLU demonstrated how math was used on the field, calculated into devising plays, and how it is used in other sports as well.
2. Students from Bellarmine High School Robotics Club used real robots to demonstrate how math is used to engineer, design, and control robots.
3. The Lakewood Police Department had student volunteers experience first-hand how officers use math to catch at-fault or bad drivers by determining the speed of a car involved in a crash or accident.
4. Ready‚Ä¶Set‚Ä¶Build gave students real-world experience in constructing a life-size, prefabricated espresso stand. Students were outfitted with tools and worked in teams to determine how math is applied in construction.
5. Central Pierce Fire and Rescue and the Lakewood Fire Department demonstrated how math is calculated into almost every aspect of a firefighters career, including hydraulics and water pressure, and dialing EMT calls.
6. Hundreds of students had the opportunity to use real tools of the trade in Environmental Science. Students used real dumpy levels to experience first-hand how math is used to calculate elevation and distance out in the field.
7. Soon-to-be drivers got educated about buying their first car with the help of Milam Jeep Mazda. Seeing math applied to a first-car purchase, including calculating special offers, annual percentage rates, down payments, or rebates.
8. Instructors from UWT and CPTC partnered to demonstrate how math is used in computers, and gave students a direct, hands-on exercise of how math is used to design, code, and program software, the internet, etc.
CPTC instructors gave presentations, offering visual aides, and the opportunity to participate in career training in the classroom. Dozens of local business and industry partners came to campus. Comcast, BECU Credit Union, Harborstone Credit Union, The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Wachovia Securities, Rainier Media, and SW WA Electrical and Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters were also on hand to give demonstrations and hands-on math learning experiences.