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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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June 19, 2013     Hays Free Press
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June 19, 2013
 

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Page 4B EDUCATION Hays Free Press June 19, 2013 + Summer Camp Spotlight: BY JORDAN 6ASS-POORE' news@haysfreepress.com ~[ A "/'hat began in 2004 ~1 ~1 as a way to hone SameerDesh- pande's math skills has turned into a way of life. After participating in the Texas State University Mathworks residential and high school honors camps, the Dallas native and MIT graduate began teaching at this year's half-day junior summer camp, which began earlier this month at Miller Middle School in San Marcos and will end Friday. "The camps were com- pletely unlike anything I'd seen in school," said Deshpande, who will be working toward a doctor- ate in statistics this fall. "I learned how to slow down and think about the steps." Deshpande said the camp instructors created a non-competitive environ- ment where it was okay to be wrong. The Mathworks residen- tial and high school honors camps were not only places where his love of the subject was nurtured, but where he met his best friend from McAllen, Texas. "I think Mathworks is the reason why I studied math," Deshpande said. Mathworks offers math im- mersion opportu- nities for youth, teacher training and curriculum materials de- signed by center representatives, some of which have been in- corporated into a textbook used by Miller Middle DESHPANDE School teachers. These text- books have also been incorporated at schools in Midland and New Braun- fels, among others. "We hope to see (math) scores go up and up," said Patricia "Patty" Amende, Mathworks camp coordi- nator. She said that camp participants' scores almost always increase from their post-and pre-tests. Close to 200 students in grades four through eight followed in Deshpande's footsteps during this year's two-week, half-day STAFF REPORT a second language, or ESL. So why the delay in getting It's been more than two a new sign? years in the making, butAs with many schools Wallace Middle School isthese days, a lack of money almost ready to purchase a held up the process. new school sign. The current The school's Parent one is more than 15 feetTeacher Association (PTA) tall, making it difficult to started fund raising in 2011 update. Another rationale after they got a bid from for a new sign is improved Lewis Signs for $22,000 - communication with the which does not include the school's more than 67 stonework around the sign. percent Hispanic families, With patience and time, many of which are English as the PTA and the students Mathworks junior summer camp, with a similar pro- gram held simultaneously at the Texas State Round Rock campus. The select program requires an online appli- cation, teacher recommendation and school tran- script or report card. "We turn away 30 percent or more for the residential and honors camps," said Amende, who has worked with Mathworks for about four years. "We turn away outstanding ap- plicants." Amende said the center's faculty and staff sometimes decline these applicants to ensure a balance of males and females in an effort to provide equal opportuni- ties for students, about half of which attend the camps on scholarship. Last year Google awarded Mathworks with a $15,000 Roots in Science and Engineering (RISE) grant for its summer math camps. The center's 18th annual residential camp also be- gan earlier this month and will end Friday. Students at least I2 years old and enrolled in sixth through eighth grade can apply to the residen- tial program. If accepted, they stay in a Texas State residence hall for two weeks in San Marcos and attend classes every day, as well as participate in special guest lectures. High school students can apply for the six-week Mathworks honors sum- mer camp that begins Sunday. The honors camp is an intensive program de- signed to develop talented youth through immersion and hands-on experience. "It's not the traditional classroom experience," said Amende. "Students participate in real-life activities. The camps make math fun." Amende said Mathworks works to address math and summer learning dis- parities in the nation and world through its summer camps, with some partici- pants coming from as far as China. raised $20,000 - just shy of fundraisers in the past two the goal. Contributions from years. Through their efforts, local businesses helped;students raised more than ~ ~ ~ound 6 years ~di b~: ~ iS a staff favor~ei She do#t let his age fool you he has is very friendty and Wants to be ~nty of end! He loves people the ~enter of attenti0n. She is ' ~ doesn't mind being carded 0nly a year old and is very petite. around Java !~ vet/handsome ~axywou!d make a wonde#ul w~ his chocolate coat and tan companion! She is currently markings;; Please come by the waiting for her ~ver home atthe shelter a~ meet him! Brodie ~e Petsmart in Austin, ;Shelter and Humane Socie is a non-profiti nO,kilt shelter operat~ primarily on donations and adoptions, Please visit pawsshelter.org ..... Aii animats are fully Vaccinationed, spay/neutered, microchipped and dewormed. several organizations gave $14,000. :Pets of the Week s_ponsored by more than $500 including With just $4,000 left tol ] Hays Youth Basketball reach the goal, Wallace PTAPerform ng Arts Center and Austin Reginal CInic Association, WMS Ranger members hope they can Athletics, Wallace Rangers complete the project soon. Band, Lehman Lobo Band, Any community member Capstone Dental and Charles or business that would like Reeves, DDS. to make a contribution to But the PTA leaders said the Wallace Middle School fundsabut 75raisedPercentcame of fromthe toSignwMsfUndpTAmaY1500send a checkw. Center Located in Kyle, Texas at 4100Everett, next to students' support of various Street in Kyle, Texas 78640. + iNmi r @CIG Capital Ln.~utar tee Group ~,~ d ZORICH Fn~: TRAVELERSaj STA're +