YSMS Holds Summer Math Academy

This summer, York Suburban Middle School students kept their math skills sharp by attending a two week Summer Math Academy held at the middle school during the month of July. The optional program, in its inaugural year, provided over 20 incoming 7th and 8th-grade students with the opportunity to engage in real-world mathematics applications without the pressure of grades, homework, and tests. Math teachers from grades 6-8 facilitated the program and worked with students in small groups. “One of our goals was for students to discover the enjoyment of math and to see how it relates to their everyday lives without the stress that a formal classroom setting can bring”, noted principal Dr. Scott Krauser. “Making mathematics meaningful and relevant is an integral component in confidence and success in math ability.”

The first week of the program focused on the math skills related to ratios and proportions developed through recipe planning for a large crowd and included a walking field trip to Weis to calculate the price of meals and find the best buy for each item on the ingredient list. In the second week, students designed a dream bedroom and selected paint, carpeting, and furnishings using area and cost calculations, all embedded in geometric skills. The “virtual” purchases were required to stay within a specified budget. Each week concluded with student presentations showcasing the recipes and bedrooms and the mathematics involved.

When asked about her thoughts on spending her summer vacation working on math, one 8th grade student commented that she “liked that we were doing math without even realizing it.” Students also remarked that they enjoyed working with friends in a smaller group and that they liked getting to know different teachers throughout the week. A 7th-grade participant summed up her experience perfectly by noting that she “never really knew how expensive stuff was! That taught me a lot about real life math!”

Submitted by Mrs. Alicia Kowitz