In Their Words: Our 12th graders reflect back on five years with BEAM

This June, we gathered 12 BEAM 12th graders to reflect on their five years with BEAM. Over dinner, we talked about college, and Fatimatou (BEAM 2011) offered advice from her first year of college. Students were presented with college tshirts to celebrate their next step!

We asked these 12 students and another 10 who weren't able to make it about their memories from BEAM 7 back in 2012 and how BEAM helped prepare them for college. Here are some of their words:

My strongest memory of BEAM was the talent show. I started crying 3/4s of the way into it as I realized that after this BEAM would end and I’d have to go back home. BEAM introduced me to ultimate frisbee, foosball, Settlers of Catan, and Pascal’s Triangle. The math that we were introduced to was fun and completely different from what I’d encountered at my middle school. The math I’d been taught felt stiff and rigid in structure while the math taught at BEAM felt liquid; it almost had a flow to it. BEAM math was satisfying to complete. The math relays at the end of each week were also really fun. I remember excitedly dashing across the room to give my answers in and scribbling down equations and numbers as fast as I and my brain could manage. It felt good to see everyone together.
— Amy, headed to Fordham University
BEAM was one of the first steps towards me developing skills that would assist me in learning when living away from home. The work ethic imposed upon us to struggle through a BEAM problem set together later helped me in boarding school when I ended up struggling again. I learned how to stick with a problem even when the end was not clearly in sight. I also learned ways to think outside the box and look at a problem through unique lens. Furthermore, BEAM helped me a lot in my search for college. Oftentimes, I returned to BEAM to talk about college, how my classes were going, and life at boarding school. BEAM was an important support system all throughout my high school career.
— Joel, headed to Wesleyan University
I loved and still love learning. It was an amazing experience to be around people that were like me, who had the same nerdy interests. BEAM allowed me to not only fully embrace learning but also gave me a small college experience that I loved. And even after! I’m so grateful for the amount of support and experience BEAM gave me. I learned to be more ambitious with my goals which ultimately paved the way for summer programs at MIT and more.
— Nicole, headed to NYU
BEAM had allowed me to be familiar with difficult math than I had encountered in my early college classes. My strongest memory of BEAM 7 is when we all went out to look at the stars with councelors. As a 12th grader, I received lots of help from Dan and Ruthi, allowing me to determine which college was best for me.
— Quentin, headed to Ithaca College
Living on a college campus taught me what I want from a college. And of course, BEAM helped me find out more about the college process and be ahead of the game when it came to applying.
— Angelina, headed to University of Rochester
BEAM connected me with advanced math and connected me with Bard High School Early College, which is a great school that has given me a great work ethic and time management skills. This will be my second summer working at BEAM 6, which was a job when I needed one, but also an opportunity to mold young minds and connect them to higher math.
— John, headed to Fordham University
BEAM prepared me for college, because I got to live on a college campus and befriend people who I least expected. I learned it’s ok to question someone else’s answer. My strongest memory of BEAM is when I proved Dan wrong on a math problem.
— Jamila, headed to Howard University
BEAM has connected me with summer programs to have the most impactful summers of my life. Thanks to BEAM, I attended Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp at Texas State.
— Abdoulaye, headed to George Washington University
Staying on a college campus changed my decision about going to college from maybe to definitely. BEAM showed me the rigor of college level work and taught me how to work hard and to balance school life with social life.
— Nicy, headed to University of Bridgeport
BEAM made me love the college life. I’m excited to meet new people and have awesome experiences in college. Also, thanks to BEAM, I skipped two grades of math while in high school!
— Gustavo, headed to Brooklyn College
BEAM 2012 along with BEAM Founder and Art of Problem Solving Initiative Executive Director Daniel Zaharopol Back Row: Kiara (Lehigh University), Kiara (John Jay College), Joel (Wesleyan University), Quentin (Ithaca College), Angelina (University of Rochester), Derek (Colby College), Dominic (Pace University) Front Row: Ana (Barnard College), John (Fordham University), Jahdel (City Tech) Not Pictured: Abdel (New York University), Abdoulaye (George Washington University), Amy (Fordham University), Emalee (Hunter College), Greiny (SUNY Geneseo), Gustavo (Brooklyn College), Isaiah (SUNY Potsdam), Jamila (Howard University), Loquan (SUNY Albany), Nathaniel (Bronx Community College), Nicole (New York University), Shaunicia (University of Bridgeport), Salimatou (Baruch College), Stephanie (SUNY Plattsburgh), Taylor (Allegheny College), Zereena (SUNY Binghamton)

BEAM 2012 along with BEAM Founder and Art of Problem Solving Initiative Executive Director Daniel Zaharopol
Back Row: Kiara (Lehigh University), Kiara (John Jay College), Joel (Wesleyan University), Quentin (Ithaca College), Angelina (University of Rochester), Derek (Colby College), Dominic (Pace University)
Front Row: Ana (Barnard College), John (Fordham University), Jahdel (City Tech)
Not Pictured: Abdel (New York University), Abdoulaye (George Washington University), Amy (Fordham University), Emalee (Hunter College), Greiny (SUNY Geneseo), Gustavo (Brooklyn College), Isaiah (SUNY Potsdam), Jamila (Howard University), Loquan (SUNY Albany), Nathaniel (Bronx Community College), Nicole (New York University), Shaunicia (University of Bridgeport), Salimatou (Baruch College), Stephanie (SUNY Plattsburgh), Taylor (Allegheny College), Zereena (SUNY Binghamton)

"End of the Year" BEAM Spring Party 2017

Each year, BEAM invites all of their alumni to come together and celebrate the end of a successful school year. It's always great to see our alumni, play board games with them, and celebrate their accomplishments!

This year we added some cool stuff to our Spring partying! We had the return of the photo booth, some fun math puzzles (with prizes for those who completed them), a modular origami station, food including amazing Jollof rice made by Chuka's mother, and some piano playing. 

Modular Origami

2017-06-17 17.31.40.jpg
Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 12.58.00 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 12.58.39 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 12.57.16 PM.png

Board Games

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 12.58.57 PM.png

Photo Booth

Math puzzles


We even had time to show off some of our talents. Pictured here is Mariam (8th grader) singing and Laura (BEAM staff member) playing the piano. Needless to say, we had an amazing time!


BEAM goes to the World Science Festival!

On Sunday June 4th, BEAM students got to tour real science labs! They learned about the human skeleton from a biological anthropologist and got to use real lab equipment to inject DNA in a biomedical chemistry lab.

The event started with an introduction and Q&A session with two undergraduate students from NYU who were involved in the group Women in Science. These women shared with us how they had developed into seeing themselves as scientists, as well as how important they felt it was to do research in their undergraduate studies.

Next we moved onto the lab tours. The first stop was at the Center for the Study of Human Origins, where a scientist with a PhD in Biological Anthropology taught us about the evolution of the genus Homo, variation, and the evolution of phenotypic covariation.

The second and final stop was in the Biomedical Chemistry Institute. There, a scientist with a PhD in Professor Lara Mahal’s lab had the students test out their lab skills by injecting DNA samples into a gel.

Students learned how changes in sugar levels in our cells can help us screen for cancer!

After the samples had processed, students returned to the lab to analyze the DNA samples.

Overall, it was a fun and educational Sunday for everyone!

BEAM's Spring Newsletter is Here!


What's going on at BEAM?

  • We're headed to Los Angeles.
  • Our 12th graders have announced their college choices.
  • We love math and share that love with our community. 
  • We're reading all kinds of interesting articles about math!

Four times a year, the BEAM newsletter is a chance for you to see what's going on at BEAM and get to know us and our students better.  

Didn't get the newsletter? Want to read more!  You can find it online here

Don't forget to sign up to get our next newsletter straight to your inbox!

Beginning to Navigate the College Admissions Process

When is the right time for 11th graders to begin preparing for college?


A year from now our current 11th grade students will know what college they will be attending in Fall 2018! How do they begin this journey?

On Thursday, May 11th, a group of our 11th graders joined BEAM at our first annual BEAM College Kickoff! They learned about what the College Admissions process is like and what they should be doing now in order to best prepare for the admissions craziness in September. We went through best practices of the application process and created a timeline of what should be done, from now until May 1, 2018, in order to maximize their chances of being admitted in to the most selective and prestigious colleges and universities. Our 11th graders are ambitious and excited to begin embarking on this journey to college. And we are here to guide them every step of the way!

In attendance were: Aisha, Aishat, Crisleidy, Emily, Mona, William and Vielka. See pictures from the event below and a small blurb about their journey to 11th grade and what their future plans include. 


Pictured here is Crisleidy. For two years she attended The Center for Talented Youth (CTY) and this summer she is attending the University of New Hampshire's Project Smart program, where she will spend five weeks studying space science! We intend to nominate her for Posse Scholars.  


Pictured here are: Emily and Crisleidy. Emily is the older sister of one of our BEAM 6 alumni who is attending BEAM 7 this summer! Though she is not interested in pursuing math, she plans to study criminal justice in college and wants to attend John Jay. 


Pictured here are Aishat and Vielka.

Vielka is an environmental science major at Brooklyn Tech and this summer, along with Crisleidy, she will be at UNH's Project Smart program studying environmental science. Vielka also loves Chemistry!


Aishat has attended summer programs at the University of Maryland and Brown University. This year she will be in France studying French culture. Aishat is currently taking Honors IB Math. 


Pictured here is Aisha. Aisha attends Manhattan Center for Science and Math and is currently taking AP Physics C and AP Calculus BC! She is a member of Minds Matters and attends their programs every summer. This summer, though, she will be in Spain working at a maker space!


Pictured here is Mona. She attends the Academy for Software Engineering where she has been connected to many computer programming related opportunities. Last summer she interned at Morgan Stanley in their Cyber Security department. This summer she is applying to work at BEAM 6! Mona is very interested in attending Barnard for college. 


Pictured here is William. William attends Bard High School Early College and is very interested in pursuing Law in his future. He was a Junior Counselor at BEAM 6 last year. He plans to attend college in New York City because he hates bugs and nature! (But that didn't stop him from having a great time at Bard College during his BEAM 7 summer.)


In late August, BEAM runs a week long College Prep program for our rising 12th graders. Students will get individualized assistance with college essays, supplemental essays, FAFSA (financial aid), and so much more! We hope to see many of our (soon-to-be) 12th graders there. 

BEAM 6 Family Lunch

This past Saturday, April 29th, our new BEAM 6 students and their families attended our Family Welcome Lunch to learn more about the program. Our BEAM 6 alumni joined us to talk to families about what it's really like to be a BEAM 6 student. Kai, Lismary, Maryam, Storm and Thays talked about why they chose to come to BEAM and gave our future BEAM 6ers some GREAT advice! Read more from our experts! 

question: Why did you decide to come to beam?

Math was too simple in my school. I wanted something to challenge me.
— Storm, 7th grade
I came to BEAM to learn advanced math because my school didn’t provide it.
— Kai, 7th grade

Question: What was your favorite part of beam?

It was great to be in a community with other students that love math too. I’ve always loved math but was never challenged.
— Lismary, 7th grade
In my school it is rare to like math. BEAM 6 allowed me to meet people that also liked math and be in a community of dedicated people.
You want students to have all the possibilities and BEAM did that for me.
— Thays, 7th grade

question: How is 7th grade like, After having finished beam?

I take a regents math class and I use what I learned in BEAM 6 to answer difficult questions.
— Maryam, 7th grade
Going back to my class was easy, but I also learned how to approach problems differently
— Kai, 7th grade

Welcome 6th graders! We are so excited to spend our summer with you. 

They're off to college! Congrats to BEAM 12th Graders

BEAM 2012

Five years ago, these students were 7th graders heading to BEAM for the first time. Today, they are 12th graders who are one month away from high school graduation!

While we haven't yet heard back from all 38 BEAM alumni, we want to take a minute to congratulate these students on their admissions results!  

  • Abdel: New York University 
  • Abdoulaye: George Washington University
  • Amy: Fordham University
  • Ana: Barnard College
  • Angelina: University of Rochester
  • Ashlee: SUNY Albany
  • Derek: Colby College
  • Dominic: Pace University
  • Emalee: Hunter College (CUNY)
  • Greiny: SUNY Geneseo
  • Gustavo: Brooklyn College (CUNY)
  • Isaiah: SUNY Potsdam
  • Jahdel: City Tech
  • Jamila: Howard University
  • Joel: Wesleyan University
  • John: Fordham University
  • Kiara D: Lehigh University
  • Kiara J: John Jay College
  • Loquan: SUNY Albany
  • Nathaniel: Bronx Community College
  • Nicole: New York University 
  • Quentin: Ithaca College
  • Salimatou: Baruch College (CUNY)
  • Shaunicia: University of Bridgeport
  • Stephanie: SUNY Plattsburgh
  • Taylor: Allegheny College 
  • Zereena: SUNY Binghamton

Check back on this post throughout the spring: college decisions will be added as we hear back!

BEAM 7 Welcome Lunch: hear from our alumni!

How has BEAM helped you grow?

Before the summer, we invite students and their families to learn more about the program. After a presentation about BEAM, we turn the day over to our alumni, who are the highlight of the event!

Here are some of the quotes from our alumni at family lunches this April!

Question: How did you feel about going to a math summer program?

I was a little scared at first to do all math, but was nice to be around people who also loved math. Being at college gave me independence.
— Ariel, 11th grade, Midwood High School at Brooklyn College
I was so full of wonder being on campus with trees and open space. I was really excited to take college classes. I bragged to friends at home about it.
— Angelina, 12th grade, East Side Community High School

Question: Were you excited to go to BEAM before it started? Or were any of you forced to go by your parents?

I was forced to go, but BEAM quickly felt like a second home and didn’t want to leave. I love to reminisce with other BEAM students at my high school.
— Rashik, 10th grade, Bard High School Early College
I was excited to go to BEAM. Math was boring for me in seventh grade and I was glad to work on math I had never seen before.
— Malachi, 11th grade, Brooklyn Technical High School
I was forced to go by my mom, but I’m glad I was. The program was much more fun than I expected.
— Gabe, 8th grade, Great Oaks Charter School

Question: How did BEAM help you after the summer?

BEAM helped me apply and attend math programs every summer after BEAM: MathPath in 2014 and Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp at Texas State in 2015, 2016, & 2017. BEAM has helped me study for the SHSAT, the SAT, the SAT Subject Tests, and a whole lot more. [BEAM] does a lot actually... they have everything. You just need to talk to them and ask for help.
— Malachi, 11th grade, Brooklyn Technical High School
After BEAM 7, they helped me go to the Center for Talented Youth, where I took engineering classes for two summers, and now I do clubs at school like robotics.
— Mayra, 10th grade, University Heights High School

7th graders! Welcome to BEAM. We're so excited to see where BEAM can take you.

BEAM 8th Graders Visit NYC Google Headquarters!

Ever wondered what Google, one of the top multinational technology companies in the world, is like? Our 8th graders got the chance!

This past Friday afternoon, our 8th graders visited the Google NYC headquarters to learn about what working for Google is like. They learned about "Math and Google," Software engineering and Time Complexity Theory! They then took a tour of the building and asked a panel of Googlers some thought-provoking questions. 


Software Engineering was presented by Luis. He assists in developing software to help run Google as a company.


With Luis, students learned how to simulate IP networks. They sent each other "human messages" using IP addresses!


"Math at Google" was presented by Paul. He works with Gmail and uses mathematical equations to make email sorting easier for users!

"Time Complexity Theory: How Fast can a Computer Solve Problems?" was presented by Kenechi. Kenechi is a software engineer who taught our students how computers use Logarithmic Notation to solve problems. 


BEAM students then took a tour of the Google building. They learned the history of the building and the significance of room names (they're all named after NYC landmarks!) They were able to see the game room, which allows Googlers to take a mental break from working in order to help stimulate their brains for more creative ideas. They saw the Google kitchen which allows Googlers to have a well-balanced meal for lunch and provides snacks for when they need them. Google is an awesome place to work at! Employees even travel around in scooters because hallways are so long!

Take a look at these pictures for proof !!

The day at Google ended with a panel discussion. BEAM students asked thought provoking questions to 4 Googlers: Paul Cheong, Justin Venezuela, Molly Alter and Kenechi Ufondu.

Examples of questions were: "What advice would you give to me pursuing a career revolving around my love of math?" "What kind of mathematics is used at Google?" "How does it feel like to be apart of such a large company?" "Is this your dream job?" The panelists were amazing and honest. They provided our students with great insight on what it is like to work for Google.

We hope to see some of our alumni working at Google in the next 10 to 20 years! 

Navigating the High School Maze and BEAM's Plans for Expansions


It's time for the BEAM quarterly newsletter!  In this Winter 2017 issue, learn about how we help students navigate high school admissions, our plans for expansion, available jobs at BEAM, and an update on admissions for 

Read the full newsletter online and sign up at the bottom of our page to receive future editions.