Contrary to “received wisdom,” middle and high school students love math and science.
At least, that’s the conclusion one draws at the end of the three-week Math Science Leadership program that has occurred every summer for the last 10 years on the UW Tacoma campus.
More than 100 middle- and high-schoolers just completed the 2013 MSL experience, a three-week intensive day camp meant to turn students on to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
A graduation ceremony was held on Friday, July 26. Starting in Gillenwater Plaza, in front of Snoqualmie Library, hundreds of parents, teachers and loved ones looked on as teams of students presented posters and demonstrations of their work. Then everyone moved into William W. Philip Hall for a formal recognition ceremony.
Each group of students had a moment in the spotlight as the MSL instructors described their triumphs and celebrated their accomplishments.
The young people had divided into six teams, each focusing on a different area of science or technology, and all getting a taste of how math and quantitative thinking underlies so much of modern life. For example, the 9th-graders spent the three weeks developing their own video game and getting a taste of CT, or computational thinking.
The 12th-graders took samples of water from Puget Sound, learning about the challenges of sewage treatment by looking for traces of common household substances like aspirin and vanilla, and understanding the role that research can play in protecting communities.
As an urban-serving university, UW Tacoma is proud to provide a home for the MSL program. We will present more stories in the near future celebrating MSL’s 10 years and highlighting its impact on students, instructors, parents and the community.