BEAM 7 Bard

Weekend Fun and our Start of week 2!

Week one has come to end and it is time for some off-campus enjoyment!

As the well-anticipated end of the week arrived, BEAM students prepared themselves for a weekend full of activities. Upon Monday morning's arrival, as a part of their daily routine, students headed to the dining hall prepared to stack up on the nutrients which that will help them power through the busy day. After breakfast and a few turns of water bottles filling, kids made their way to the coach bus-- now fully ready to embark on their mini road trip.  

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After both check-ins at the water park and applying sunscreen, our young adolescent campers divided into small groups. While in their well-supervised small groups, they then made their way to water slides exploring what the park had to offer.

When lunchtime arrived at around 1 PM,  we once again, gathered as a camp, ate, and then, prepared to head back to Bard College. At the end of this fulfilling day, tired bodies guided themselves to bed expecting to be well rested for days ahead of them.

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At BEAM, Tuesdays mark the start of a new week. Just a day after their water park fun,  BEAM students were mentally ready to go in their classes and hold class discussions on Symmetries and problem-solving theories. When completely submerging themselves into their classes either as a group or as individuals, these students have shown an immense amount of improvement. 

 We applaud the hard and effort applied by every student.  As we approach our last week of camp, we can only encouraged that this habit continues to be practiced beyond BEAM.

Weekend 2 at Bard: Debates, Relays, and Field Day

Instructor Tanya gathers the attention of members of the Orange Team as everybody prepares for Field Day activities.

Instructor Tanya gathers the attention of members of the Orange Team as everybody prepares for Field Day activities.

It has been a jam-packed weekend at Bard BEAM 7, with Saturday marking the end of week 2 courses, an impromptu student-vs.-staff debate, round 2 of relays, and an all-day Field Day concluding with a student-vs.-staff game of capture the flag.


Saturday Highlights:

Saturday was marked by a sudden decision which will likely leave a lasting legacy at BEAM 7: a program wide debate. After some quick logistical considerations, the plan became to have four rounds of student vs. staff debates, with the groups of student and staff debaters changing with each round. The groups of students who debated against staff were determined earlier in the day by having various groups of students practice debating against each other, with the staff choosing the groups which they believed would pose the biggest challenge.

So about what exactly did we debate? After careful consideration, the debate moderators--consisting of counselor Dave as well as students Jade, Camila, and Anthony--decided on four pressing, relevant, and emotional topics. At the beginning of each round, each side was randomly assigned to either argue FOR the issue at hand, or AGAINST it. The topics were as follows:

  1. Should high school students be guaranteed a daily recess?
  2. Should BEAM allow cell phones at all meals with out any rules?
  3. Should Modules be abolished from the BEAM program?
  4. Does pineapple belong on pizza?

After each round, all individuals who did not participate in that round got to vote on which side they thought argued their stance better. Staff won rounds 1 and 4 arguing for required recess and pineapple on pizza. Students won rounds 2 and 3 arguing against allowing cell phones but arguing to keep Modules in BEAM.

Immediately following these intense debates were another round of relays. Relays are a team-style competition where students complete problems in order to gain points. The teams with the most points get to choose from a selection of neat prizes! Check out some pictures of the event below.


Sunday: FIELD DAY!

First of all, what constitutes a "Field Day"? Field Days can take many forms, and the exact schedule of one can vary across different summer programs. The general idea, however, is a day full of fun activities in which teams compete against each other to earn points--the team with the most points at the end of the day wins! For BEAM's field day, the winning team was rewarded with an extra helping of dessert at dinner.

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Field Day!

After starting the morning with a late breakfast, students and staff divided up into the four field day teams: Red, Green, Purple, and Orange. With two staff members leading each team of 10, Field Day began with a 30 minute team meeting where strategy for the first event was discussed and face paint was distributed to get into the spirit of each team's color. Once everybody was decorated and ready, field day began! Here was the schedule of events:

  1. 11-12 Photo Scavenger Hunt
  2. 12-1 Break for Lunch and Opening Ceremonies
  3. 1-1:30 Team Relay - Ping Pong Ball Balancing, Hula Hooping, and Jump Roping
  4. 1:30-2 Human Knots
  5. 2-2:45 Dance Off Competition
  6. 2:45-3:15 Frisbee Throwing for Accuracy and Sponge Relay
  7. 3:15-4:15 Tug of War and Break
  8. 4:15-5 Water Balloon Fight and Water Balloon Cleanup Competition

After all the activities were finished, students got some down time before heading to dinner, with a game of Capture the Flag--again, students vs. staff--following dinner. Check out field day photos below!

I really enjoyed field day because I got to do things that Iā€™ve never been able to do in the city before. Playing tug-of-war, having a dance off, and participating in a water balloon fight were all incredible.
— Sebastian

Entering Week Two at Bard

BEAM 7 students and staff pose at the end of their hike atop the North South Lake campground.

BEAM 7 students and staff pose at the end of their hike atop the North South Lake campground.

Week 1 at the Bard Campus has come to a very exciting close, and Week 2 is promising to be even better than the last! There were amazing guest speakers, two thrilling field trips, and many other fun activities, both math related and not. Take a peek below for some highlights from moments in class throughout the week:

Week 1 topics courses concluded on Saturday, which means the second week of classes started this past Tuesday! This week, instructors have the following course offerings:

  • Cryptography: Having Secrete Conversations in Public
  • Group Theory
  • The Royal Family, Evil Guy, and Evolution of Number Kingdoms
  • The Chinese Remainder Theorem
  • Math Team Strategies
  • Solving Big Problems

Consistent with last week, students choose one of the first four options as their topics course, and they also choose one of the last two for their problem solving course. But what other opportunities do students have to explore fun mathematical concepts besides in class? In addition to a camp wide challenge problems--the second of which has yet to be solved--students partake in "Modules" Tuesday-Friday night. Modules gives the students a chance to see the mathematical concepts of the flavor they are likely to see in school, but they're slightly trickier and help develop quick and efficient mathematical problem solving skills.  


In Other News...

We had many exciting things happen this week! With the conclusion of the first round of topics courses on Saturday, the students were rewarded with the first round of relays: a competition between groups of students where they must solve math puzzles while completing specific tasks to earns points--the teams with the most points get their peak of some neat prizes. In addition to that, students got the privilege to listen to 2 guest speakers on Saturday: Stephen Wolfram and Pedro Poitevin. Stephen Wolfram is a renowned mathematician and computer scientist who developed the popular program Mathematica and website WolframAlpha.com. Pedro Poitevin is a mathematics professor at Salem State University in Massachusetts, and he was also the undergraduate adviser to Javier, one of the instructors. Check out the pictures of Saturday's exciting events below!

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As a weekend treat, we went on a group hike at the North South Lake campground, where most students and staff made the 2 hour trek to the top. After enjoying a stunning view of upstate New York, there was a picnic ready and waiting at our hike's starting point, where the kids got to spend some well-deserved free time hanging out and playing games before packing up to head back to Bard.

Students getting ready to start their hike!

Students getting ready to start their hike!