What can I expect at BEAM?
The BEAM Discovery program is a 5-week day-camp focused around mathematics and problem solving. In addition to the classes, you will also enjoy games, sports, and optional field trips.
The program is completely free, including all activities, field trips, transportation, and weekday breakfast and lunch.
Admissions are competitive: this is a camp for sixth-graders who think they might like math, like solving puzzles, and want to see what else is out there.
BEAM Discovery takes place in both New York City and Los Angeles:
The Los Angeles program runs in June and July 2020 at a school in the Koreatown or Pico-Union neighborhood.
The New York program runs in July and August 2020. BEAM Discovery NYC is held at two locations: Uptown (to serve students coming from the Bronx and Upper Manhattan) and Downtown (to serve students coming from Brooklyn, Queens, and Lower Manhattan).
Exact program locations and dates will be announced in the spring.
BEAM is an accepting and inclusive environment, and we seek to be a safe space for everyone. We want to welcome you as you are, and bring you to somewhere you can be yourself.
About the Other Students
BEAM brings together amazing students from all over the city. Each campus hosts about 100 students, chosen because they like math and they want to challenge themselves to do more.
Everyone at the program wants to learn amazing things and likes solving interesting puzzles. Beyond that, some students are into music, sports, art, or writing. Everyone has different hobbies: one of the great things about the program is meeting everyone else and making new friends.
A Day at BEAM
You'll be at BEAM for about seven hours a day, five days a week (plus some optional weekend field trips!). On this page, you'll learn more about BEAM staff, classes, and activities.
College students studying to be mathematicians and engineers will be your counselors and teaching assistants. They will also be running activities to help you meet everyone. Some of the counselors are BEAM alumni themselves, students who went through The BEAM Pathway Program. They can share how BEAM helped them during their middle school and high school years as they prepared for college, support you can expect if you apply to and are admitted to BEAM Pathway!
We call our teachers “faculty,” which is the word you will use in college. Our faculty spend the year as classroom teachers and college professors. They teach classes in the morning and afternoon. They also join you for Open Math Time, a time of day where students and staff choose what math to work on.
BEAM classes are designed to both challenge and engage you. You'll take courses in four areas: Logic, Math Fundamentals, Math Team Strategies, and Applied Math. There’s a lot more about the math further down on this page!
BEAM isn't all math all the time! We want to make sure you make friends, get to know staff, and build community. We do that through activities and field trips.
Each day BEAM counselors will run various organized activities such as sports (like basketball, soccer, or frisbee), dance, arts & crafts, karaoke, origami, Anime watching, making silly putty, board games (like chess, Dominion, or Uno), and other fun ways to spend time. You can even suggest other activities you want to see!
BEAM also offers free field trips. Previous field trips have included WNBA basketball games, a trip to the movies, and an arcade trip.
After BEAM Discovery
The summer at BEAM Discovery is only the start. After the summer you will receive:
A list of high quality programs and scholarships to which you can apply,
The chance to take a free online pre-algebra course (normally $674),
Opportunities to study math on the weekends, and
An invitation to apply to the BEAM Pathway Program, a free summer program on a college campus next summer, which will continue to support you all the way through college applications.
Students who are admitted to the BEAM Pathway Program enter a 5-year program that opens doors and gives them support for all of 8th grade and through high school to allow them to keep growing and learning.
Learn More about the Mathematics at BEAM Discovery
The math will probably be unlike anything you’ve seen in middle school. You will be challenged and engaged every day.
In each class you will solve interesting and difficult problems, learning how to approach them even when you have no idea (at first) what to do. You’ll learn logic (how to think mathematically), math fundamentals (the “why” of math), math team strategies (how to be faster, more clever), and applied math (where math shows up in the world around us). While all students study these same four topics, each student also gets to craft their own schedule, choosing which version of the class to take.
At BEAM, you'll learn how to do all of the following problems and much more. (Try them out, but don't worry if you can't do them: that's why you're coming to the program!)
How many whole numbers less than 600 are multiples of both 8 and 11?
Lismary starts doodling in her notebook. First, she draws a hexagon, which has 6 sides. Then she draws two hexagons next to each other, and she counts 11 sides. Then she draws three hexagons next to each other, and she counts 16 sides. If she keeps going, how many sides will there be when she draws 50 hexagons next to each other?
0. _ _ _ + 0. _ _ _ + 0. _ _ _
Write the digits 1-9 into the sum above, using each digit exactly once, to make it as close to 1 as possible. The sum can be over or under; all that matters is how far it is from 1. How close to 1 can you get it? How do you know that's as close to 1 as you can get?
Want to join us at BEAM Discovery?
Most students are recommended to BEAM by their math teacher, but we also welcome contact from parents and students who meet the following criteria.
BEAM Discovery invites applications from students who:
- Are currently in 6th grade
- Live in Los Angeles or New York City
- Demonstrate financial eligibility for BEAM's programs*
BEAM's application window is currently closed. We will open our pre-application by late January, 2020; please return to this page to find the pre-application.
*BEAM is designed to support students who are underrepresented in STEM careers. Our primary admissions criteria are mathematical (are you ready for BEAM’s programs?) with priority given to those who come from lower-income families or who wouldn’t otherwise have access to similar programs.
Historically, the median family income for students attending BEAM is $27,000 per year. BEAM does consider extenuating circumstances when making eligibility decisions. Please include this information in the financial eligibility form.
BEAM is committed to serving all eligible students regardless of immigration status. BEAM will not ask questions about the immigration status of either a student or their family in the admissions process. If you choose to provide information about immigration status, BEAM will keep all such information private and only use it to recommend appropriate next steps for a student and their family.
Have questions about BEAM Discovery?
Check out last year’s flyers (below) to learn more!
You're also welcome to get in touch with us with any questions you may have: