This summer high school students experienced the excitement of working on complex mathematical problems as well as hands-on engineering projects through two of the seven Governor's Institutes of Vermont.
A total of 32 top Vermont mathematics students from grades 9-12 participated in exploring topics such as chaos, fractals, robotics, mathematical games and mathematical problem solving during the 2010 Governor's Institute in Mathematical Sciences. The Institute, directed by Jeffrey Dinitz, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Vermont, and Sheila Weaver, Senior Lecturer in Statistics at the University of Vermont, is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about math and its applications, experience hands-on and minds-on academic activities, and interact with renowned mathematicians. Part of the fun and excitement was participating in the Amazing Math Race, a Google Earth activity based on the CBS reality Show "The Amazing Race", which brought students to 12 travel stops where they solved problems in Algebra, Geometry, Probability and General Math.
"I observed the best of the inquisitive nature of budding scientists," said Dinitz. "Although the week was a constant whirlwind of activity, learning and energy, it was also extremely satisfying."
Student participants are selected on the basis of excellence demonstrated on the Vermont High School Prize Examination in Mathematics, the Mathematics Talent Search conducted by the Vermont State Mathematics Coalition, or the Vermont High School Mathematics League competitions; by teacher recommendation; and by application to the Governor's Institutes of Vermont.
The UVM/GIV Engineering Institute provided approximately 80 students with the opportunity to design and create prototype devices in five different engineering project categories. The Renewable/Sustainable Energy projects students examined the power and impact of wind and biomass. Robotics students programmed robots with artificial intelligence to perform specific tasks. Aerospace Engineering Project students created prototype aeronautical devices using parachutes, small balloons, and helicopter principles. Engineering Design Challenge Project students created launchers for Vermont Teddy Bears using specific design engineering criteria.
Students exhibited project prototypes and gave presentations to a panel of judges at the University Mall on Saturday, July 3, 2010 at the University Mall on Dorset Street, South Burlington, VT. Awards were given to students for projects as well as written Technocratic Oaths that reflected their life purpose, and for p oetry that reflected their experience in the UVM/GIV Engineering Institute.
During this Institute eight students were selected to represent the United States at the 2010 Fourth International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO) September 19 to 28, 2010 at the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The focus of the IESO is on sustainability issues such as climate change.Click here to watch WCAX-TV news coverage.