Spring Garden campers take math out for a spin


July 26, 2000|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

AT THE SUMMER Math Camp at Spring Garden Elementary, 60 campers have found that math turns up in the strangest places, from bicycling to karate to fixing teeth.

Highlights of the two-week enrichment camp, which features an Olympics theme, were visits by community professionals who explained how their careers depended upon using math. The children were excited when Olympic bicyclist Brian Walton spoke to them.

The Hampstead resident rides for the Canadian National Cycling Team, and had earned a place on Canada's Olympic team days before. He squeezed in the visit between trips to Atlanta and Vancouver, in a training schedule that ends at the 2000 Olympic Games, which begin in September in Sydney, Australia.

"To think you can watch him in Australia and know you've talked to him, an Olympic athlete that you'd never expect to find in Hampstead," said teacher Erica Steele.

Steele says the camp builds confidence working with mathematical concepts. As one third-grade pupil, Alex Safar, told her recently, "I didn't like math before. It's two thumbs up now."

Math is used in cycling, Walton said, when recording statistics to monitor training. He showed how, on a typical five-hour ride from Hampstead to Thurmont, his speed and heart rate are monitored by computer equipment on the bike and rated against optimum performance.

He showed his bicycle - "the Mercedes of bikes," said Steele - which was designed in a wind tunnel and cost $40,000. A number of professionals spoke to the campers that day. Amy Allingham, sports reporter for local cable channel PrestigeVision, described using mental math to calculate scores and averages while on camera.

Understanding perpendicular lines is key when breaking boards with karate. Joe Borucki, local karate instructor, described the forces and geometry of the martial art. He asked campers to tell him when he was correctly positioned before breaking pine boards.

Campers David Pilley and Megan Miller were given enormous rubber bands to stretch. The bands are used to measure muscle growth and determine the range of motion for injured muscles, explained Brian Hoy, a physical therapist. He also attached a pulse monitor to Brooke King to show how to measure a heart rate.

Geometry in two and three dimensions was shown by florist Gail Terzano to be the basis for eye-pleasing arrangements of flowers and foliage.

On a similar theme, orthodontist Kevin Lawyer showed the youngsters the patterns of teeth and jaw alignment and patterns of correct toothbrushing.

Dorothy Gaspar, insurance agent, pretended the pupils had traveled to the Olympics and lost their baggage. They learned how to calculate the value of the loss and determine the children's deductible payments.

Other activities of the camp, which was taught by teachers Patti Lambert, Kathryn Henn, and Joanna Lewis, included stories that use math, designing flags using geometric shapes, estimating the number of items in a jar and spending time in the computer lab working with math programs.

Information: Spring Garden Elementary, 410-751-3433.

Children's art show

Hampstead Town Hall gallery had colorful artwork by pupils of Hampstead and Spring Garden elementary schools on display through yesterday. About 50 artworks were in the exhibit.

Inspired by Australian aboriginal dot pictures, pupils from Hampstead Elementary wrote legends and illustrated them on simulated bark. Included in the exhibit were paintings and legends by Karl Benner, Sarah O'Brien, Logan McGuire, Lindsay Laird, Rachel Dobbins, Taylor Spencer, Bethany Ciekot, Brianna Stefanelli, Vicki Carrico, Alan Isner, Emily Frazier, Brent Bull, Nichole Furrow and Maria Donaldson.

Oil pastel drawings were exhibited by Sheila Thomas, Jenna Verrecchio, Aaron Galloway, Samantha Stitley, Jeremy Halberstam and Shane Sullivan. A waterlily pond was painted by Katlyn Harman and a portrait by Samantha Kerns. A scratched-ink Egyptian image was exhibited by Leah Smith.

The Hampstead Elementary children were taught by Barbara Hammond.

From Spring Garden Elementary, Mexican paintings on bark inspired brilliantly colored animals and patterns. On exhibit were bark paintings by Alyssa Lamdin, Megan Graham, Sean Davis, Ricky White, Stephanie Green, Tommy Shaffer, Molly Senner, Megan Friia, Katie Crumbaugh and Megan Dell. Dragons were a popular theme for pencil drawings by Abbey Cross and Danielle Melillo, and for watercolors by Sarah Stahl and Vanessa Shipman.

Tempera paintings of a fish bowl inspired by a Matisse painting were exhibited by Melissa Baumiller, Jay Burda, Colin Valentine, Kelly Grice and Kenny Bean. Ashton Spenner showed a pastel drawing of a tiger, and Steven Honeywell exhibited an oasis made of colored tissue.

Spring Garden students were taught by Jan VanBibber.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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