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Canadian Mathematical Society
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Canadian Mathematical Society
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Title of Project: Archimedes Math Schools: Math enrichment in inner-city Winnipeg

Year of Competition: 2014

Grant amount: $2500

Project Duration: Single Year

Type of Report: Final

Period Covered: January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014

Description of Activity:
Archimedes Math Schools is a non-profit organization run by math professors in Winnipeg. The organization was borne out of the recognition of a need for a low cost after-school mathematics program for elementary school-aged children. There are two primary goals of our organization. The first is to foster a love of mathematics in children who attend elementary schools through excellent instruction from teachers who are passionate about mathematics. We have chosen to focus on this age group because we believe that the key to long-term success in mathematics begins with quality instruction and immersion in math enrichment activities early in a child's mathematical career. The second goal of our organization is to provide an environment where university mathematics students, many of whom are training to become teachers, can gain valuable hands-on experience teaching math to children.

We hire energetic university math students to run the classes and all lessons and activities are planned by university math professors Anna and Ross Stokke. All math professors and guest lecturers are unpaid volunteers, while university students are paid employees. Lessons involve a blend of instruction in fundamental math concepts, enrichment activities and preparation for math contests. We also arrange for mathematicians to speak about accessible math topics to the children.

Our regular after-school program runs three days a week for 28 weeks from September to April. We also ran a 2-week summer math readiness camp in August, 2014 in collaboration with the University of Winnipeg's Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre and this is where we chose to focus the support of the Endowment Grant. The CMS Endowment Grant enabled us to allow children from inner-city Winnipeg to attend the camp free of charge. This is important since most families who registered children to attend the program would have been unable to afford a registration fee. We budgeted for a total of 15 children to attend the camp with 2 instructors but, because it was so popular, we accommodated 17 students. In addition to providing regular instruction in mathematics, we arranged for 5 guest speakers to speak to the children about mathematics.

Assessment of Effectiveness:
In addition to providing quality instruction in math to children, our summer camp involved a significant training component. We hired two university students who are registered in the Faculty of Education and plan to become middle school or high school math teachers. We work closely with all of our teachers to give them advice about delivering math content and making it exciting for children. Given our employees' future career plans, this experience was invaluable for them. Both commented on the relevance of the training and on its usefulness.

We asked the children who attended the summer camp to fill out a feedback form regarding the program and received extremely positive reviews. The children developed a strong appreciation for mathematics and felt more confident going back to school this Fall. Staff at Wii Chiiwaakanak have already received inquiries about the program for next summer. In addition to the CMS Endowment Grant funding we received, we were also granted a JUMP Math Reach Award which allowed us to receive JUMP Math books for the children, free of charge. As well, Wii Chiiwaakanak Centre provided space to run the program and provided snacks and lunch for the children.

Future Plans (if any):
We intend to continue running our after-school program from September, 2014 - April, 2015 and will run the summer camp again next year out of Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre provided adequate funding can be obtained. Ideally, we would like to run two camps next summer - one for children in Grades 4 - 6 and another for children in Grades 7 - 9.

Financial:

Expenses:
Employees for summer camp:$1350
Supplies & photocopying$600
Administration (insurance, accounting, payroll, etc)$700

Other funding received for summer camp:
University of Winnipeg (in kind, use of facilities & food): $2000
JUMP Math Reach Fund (in kind): $350



Contact Name: Anna Stokke

[September 29, 2014]


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