MISSOULA – Twenty middle school girls are spending four days at the University of Montana Girls Interested in Math camp solving challenging number, topology and statistics problems – and half of the attendees are returning students from last year.
The problems posed during the camp encourage students to interact with one another, move about the room, explain their ideas and develop their own questions. Camp Director Bonnie Spence said the camp allows the girls to spend more time exploring mathematics than a regular school day can.
“It’s so incredible when they share their reasoning and what patterns they’re seeing,” Spence said. “There’s no timeline that we have to keep, so it just gives it a whole different feel and environment.”
Spence created the camp last year after a parent inquiry who said her daughter was not interested in the existing STEM and coding camps, she simply liked math and wanted to attend a math camp.
In its inaugural year, 15 campers attended. Nine students returned this year. Maximum enrollment increased to 20 students, with six students on a waiting list. Missoula’s Advanced Technology Group awarded several scholarships to cover registration costs for students.
The camp, which began Monday, runs through Thursday, July 26.