This time let me go away from computation, 27th – 29th September, 2012 marked a very good part of my life; it was my first mini Maths camp. The Mini Math-Camp was held at Amagoro in Teso district. We started our journey on Thursday at 3 pm from Maseno, taking two and half hours on the way. When we reached Amagoro we were hosted at Amagoro Mission House, where we received a warm reception. At the house we met Prof. Olubai, Madam Annette, Beatrice, Alison and Leonard. After the fine introduction, dinner was served. We took our dinner getting to know each other more and the area we were in. The dinner was delicious. Thereafter, we played Dominio and set off to bed.

Due to the mini maths-camp anxiety, I was up by six in the morning (of 28th September, 2012) ready to rock and roll into the game. We prepared ourselves and took breakfast. At 8.30 am, we were on for the awaited mission.

At 9am, we reached the first school - Amagoro girls. The school was parked with computers, though some installations were not successful. We organized our tools and started the session by introducing ourselves to the teachers and students. Tom Denton started us on with the Maths song and we all joined in the chorus. Thomas lead on the Geogebra session, David on History of the world for over 200 years ago using Gapminder and Tom on the programming. During this session, am indulged to tell you, some of the students refusing to go for their tea break. James steered us on the cast software to get the mean and the median. Phillis and I gave assistance through out the sessions. The first camp ended well. The teachers and students requested for more of such sessions and thanked us for the session. We then went for lunch.

At 1 pm, we started journey to the second school - Katakwa Secondary – a 40-minutes drive North of Amagoro. We were received by the deputy principle who lead us to the computer lab and introduced us to the students and other teachers present. Tom rolled us on with the Maths song playing the “ukulele” gracefully and we joined the chorus together with the students. I lead the Geogebra session with help from David. It was a challenging task but I believe with time I will do it perfectly. Thomas headed on mean and median, David on programming and Phillis on the functions.

After the afternoon camp, David, James and Thomas set on their journey back to Maseno while Prof. Olubai, Tom, Phillis and I went back to the house. On our way, we decided to have a tour across the Kenya-Uganda border along Malaba. When we arrived at Malaba, there was a fleet of trailers on one side of the road waiting inspection to go across the border. We had some sweet bananas and entered Uganda, then back to Amagoro. We had a chance to share with the Busia District Education Officer on issues affecting Kenya and the drastic bad change on education sector. Once again it was an honour sharing with persons with noble minds. after which we had my favourite Chapatis for dinner. We played Dominion, and then watched a movie before retiring to bed.

The next morning - 29th September, 2012- our second day, we had our breakfast while waiting for David and Giovana. They arrived at 8 am and we left for Moding secondary (this is, the third school), where William and Purity (who are volunteers teaching in Kakemer secondary) joined us. When we started the mini Maths-camp at Moding High School, the students were excited to know what we had for them and I hope we were not a disappointment. We experienced some problems with the projector but that did not stop us from doing our work. We took then through the sessions, ensuring that we were all together throughout the way. At the end of the sessions, Patrick, a student, gave a vote of thanks and requested that we should visit again. David encouraged them to exhaust and teach other students on how to use the programs. We had our lunch at the school.

After lunch we went to Kakemer Resource centre were we met the students from Kakemer secondary. The camp started with the introduction as usual and proceeded to the sessions. We started with the Geogebra, programming, function formation, cast and then Gapminder. The students responded well and even participated more. I was amazed how the students were able to notice the flow of the sequence function. Most of the students learnt faster on how to use the programs. Some primary pupils joined the sessions and had a taste of what was going on. After the sessions were over, the students thanked us for the session and promised to learn more and teach other students what they had learnt. We took a group photo, and set on our journey back to Maseno.

On our return journey, we discussed linear algebra and its application in other areas of Mathematics, for example Calculus. We reached Maseno at 8pm and that how my first mini maths-camp was. From that experience I would love to attend more mini maths-camp to come.

 

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Some Maths Links

Vi Hart - Hyperactive videos about beautiful math concepts. Snowdecahedron - A mathematical art installation. Tau - An alternative to pi. BBC Brief History of Math - A Documentary. John Baez - A maths superhero.
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