Edray Goins Visits BEAM Harvey Mudd
Our program at Union College starts tomorrow! More updates are coming soon.
Our program at Bard College starts tomorrow! More updates are coming soon.
Today, BEAM's quarterly newsletter arrived in the inboxes of all our subscribers. The newsletter featured:
Information on our largest summer of operations yet
A recap of College Decision Day
Highlights from BEAM’s recent Career Day
“What We’re Reading”: a look at the College Board’s new “adversity score”
Recent accomplishments from BEAM students
A math puzzle for you to try out!
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At BEAM, we love sharing math! So, as a new feature of our quarterly newsletter, we’re introducing a math problem.
Today, we have a guest blog post from long-time BEAM volunteer, Maury Bohan, who is also a retired 6th grade math teacher. Maury accompanied our staff on an admissions school visit back in March and had the following to say about her experience. While BEAM’s admissions season is over (it runs January-March), we’re always thinking ahead to next year, when we can’t wait to meet 6th graders in Los Angeles and New York City who are applying to our entry level program, BEAM Discovery.
Early in March, on a Wednesday morning, I had the pleasure of joining Lynn Cartwright-Punnett at PS 171/Patrick Henry Preparatory School in East Harlem, which has been a BEAM partner school since 2014. I had wanted to participate in a visit to one of BEAM’s partner schools, and Lynn felt it would be beneficial if we used the visit as a chance to share details with our many volunteers, instructors, and supporters.
We began the morning with eight 7th graders, two of whom attended last summer’s BEAM Discovery program. The goal was to check in on what the BEAM Discovery alumni were doing and also to identify any 7th graders who we had not met in 6th grade, who would benefit from joining our program, AND who could succeed despite not having attended last summer. Lynn shared the goals of the BEAM Pathway Program, which include “…going farther than you expect, learning more, and exploring new ideas.” In addition to the potentially overwhelming information that the students would be with BEAM all the way through college, she also tempted the young students with details about dorm life, field trips, and good, hard brain work. After responding to questions, Lynn handed out the Admissions Challenge — seven questions to be completed in 40 minutes, and explained that the goal is not to do all of it perfectly, but rather “to figure out what you can figure out.”
After the 7th graders left the room, we were joined by a new crew of about fifteen 6th graders. They were physically so much younger than the 7th graders — clearly still children — and obviously nervous. Lynn immediately put them at ease, asking what they already knew about BEAM Discovery — basically that it is a summer math program five days per week for five weeks. She shared the daily schedule, and the goal to challenge brains, to grow and do more than students could do before, and to be a member of a math-loving community. Again there was talk of preparation for college, in terms of how choosing courses and activities during the summer is a way to start building autonomy so as to eventually be ready for decision making in college. Lynn then handed out the Admissions Challenge, and reminded students that “The goal isn’t perfect work; it’s interesting work.”
Besides the results of the students’ work on the Admissions Challenge, there are a few other ways for them to demonstrate their potential as a BEAM student. They are all asked to share how they felt about the challenge and what they liked about it. They are also given some extra problems to do at home and send back, which can show readiness and interest, and allow students to perform while not under time pressure.
There is a third way that a student might earn some unofficial points toward gaining a slot in a BEAM program, and it was demonstrated after the sixth graders left us. Lynn earlier had an opportunity to quickly review the 7th graders’ responses to their Admissions Challenge and had asked the school contact person to bring one student back to our classroom for an interview. This would allow Lynn to ascertain whether the student is as ready for this summer’s 7th grade program as all the incoming alumni of last summer’s Discovery Program will be. I enjoyed listening first as the two of them chatted about school and math, and the student’s personal life. She shared that her life outside of school is mostly homework, supporting a younger sister’s homework, and church. She has never been outside of New York City, and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. What is she most concerned about in regards to BEAM’s summer program? That it is a sleep away program!
After chatting, Lynn and the student got down to work, discussing some great math problems. How encouraging it was for me to observe their back and forth, and the young lady’s willingness to draw conclusions, and then re-evaluate them given Lynn’s prodding. The student’s patience, persistence, and flexible thinking seemed to me qualities that will make her succeed, and that BEAM would benefit from. And this is where those unofficial points toward entrance come in to play. “Slant points” are like an additional note, one which this girl definitely received, that says if there is a tie for a slot at BEAM, this student has that “something extra” that makes her the preferred candidate.
As a retired teacher, I can’t imagine many more encouraging mornings than watching all of these 6th and 7th graders voluntarily meeting with a stranger to demonstrate their interest and talent in mathematical thinking. I can’t wait to hear which students are joining us this summer, and I look forward to seeing them grow and thrive through high school.
On Friday, May 10th, BEAM students joined 12th graders across the city for College Decision Day at the Apollo Theater! Eight BEAM 12th graders joined 200+ high school seniors from around the city who announced their college plans on stage... at the Apollo Theater!
We're pleased to announce the schools that the following students will be attending:
Images from left to right display: Teo (City Tech), Kadija (Princeton), Felix (Syracuse), Kiana (Howard), Mayra (Lehigh), Moses (NYU), and Crisleidy (Baruch).
In addition to these seven students, we want to give a shout-out to all our graduating seniors. Here's a list of BEAM students currently ready to announce their college decisions:
Afia: University of Pennsylvania
Amanda: New York University
Ashley: New York University
Concepcion: St John's University
Crisleidy: Baruch College, CUNY
Daniel: Le Moyne College
Elisa: Whitman College
Eric: City College, CUNY
Felix: Syracuse University
Jayden: Dartmouth College
Jessie: Bard College
Justin: Purchase College, SUNY (deferred for 1 year)
Kadija: Princeton University
Kellyann: Southern Connecticut State University
Kiana: Howard University
Kwabena: Howard University
Lennin: Franklin & Marshall College
Maria: Stony Brook University, SUNY
Mayra: Lehigh University
Moses: New York University
Naz: Baruch College, CUNY
Odalys: University of California San Diego
Rashik: University of Albany, SUNY
Reem: John Jay College, CUNY
Teo: New York City College of Technology
Viri: Columbia University
Zeñia: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Zyan: New Paltz, SUNY
BEAM students were also awarded many scholarships and other forms of financial aid:
The Posse Scholars Program provides selected students with a full ride, as well as connections to other students in their area who attend the same college they plan to attend. (awarded to Lennin)
The QuestBridge National College Match Program provides a full ride through college to students who are accepted at one of the program's partnering schools. (awarded to Kadija)
And numerous other students were offered amazing financial aid packages by the college they will attend. The scholarships provided by Columbia, Dartmouth, Princeton, and Franklin and Marshall are particularly generous, as these schools meet 100% of demonstrated need. That means that a low-income student can expect to pay nothing for college. Some scholarships were so generous that student will actually get money back to pay for expenses that may come up, such as flights to and from home at the start and end of each semester!
Our seniors did an incredible amount of work to get through high school and to this day. Congratulations to you all! 11th graders: now it's your turn and BEAM is here for you.
Finally, for those following along at home, here is a list of the colleges to which BEAM students were admitted this year:
Baruch College, CUNY
Binghamton University, SUNY
Borough of Manhattan Community College
Brooklyn College, CUNY
Buffalo State College, SUNY
The City College of New York, CUNY
Franklin & Marshall College
Guttman Community College
Hunter College, CUNY
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Le Moyne College
Lehman College, CUNY
The New School
New York City College of Technology, CUNY
New York Institute of Technology
New York University
Pennsylvania State University
Purchase College, SUNY
Queens College, CUNY
Rochester Institute of Technology
Seton Hall University
Southern Connecticut State University
St. John’s University
Stony Brook University, SUNY
SUNY New Paltz
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
University at Albany, SUNY
University at Buffalo, SUNY
University at Connecticut
University of California San Diego
University of Pennsylvania
University of Rochester
Worcester Polytechnic Institute