BOB CASE ACADEMY: BRIDGE TO CALCULUSHighlights : 2022 Summer Program
Kick Off Week : Start of Summer Program
We started the Summer Program with an informative session on Fibonacci Series and Golden Ratio, led by Boston International and Newcomers Academy teacher Enkeleda Gjoni! She shared some curricula as well as student virtual books done by her former students. We had some great discussions on how special this number is Φ(phi) — the Golden Ratio. This set the theme for our upcoming project time and the rest of the program, exploring math in the real world and set the tone of an upcoming student-led debate on whether phi is the most special number!
Pride Curriculum Friday:
Dr. Adrian Mims
Dr. Adrian B. Mims Sr. is the Founder and CEO of The Calculus Project Inc. (TCP), a nonprofit that works in collaboration with school districts, post-secondary institutions, community-based organizations, small businesses, and corporations to significantly diversify the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pipeline. Dr. Mims received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics from Simmons College, a second master’s in educational leadership from Simmons College, and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Boston College.
The Calculus Project was derived from Dr. Mims’ dissertation, Improving African American Achievement in Geometry Honors. The goal of the project and mission of the nonprofit is to use research-supported strategies to drastically increase the number of Black, Hispanic, and low-income students enrolled in high school calculus, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics.
While Dr. Mims served as the Dean of Students at Brookline High School (BHS) in 2009, he launched TCP which was incorporated into the Minority Student Achievement Network’s “Promising Practices Clearinghouse” in 2011. In 2012, the College Board awarded Dr. Mims the Asa G. Hilliard Models of Success award for his commitment to closing the achievement gap for African Americans in mathematics and the Dr. Carlene Riccelli Assembly Leadership Award.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recognized TCP as a Bright Spot in Middle Years Math in 2019, which resulted in a two-year development grant of $250,000. Later in 2021, the 1954 Project presented Dr. Mims with the Luminary Award and awarded $1 million to The Calculus Project Inc. to support the expansion of TCP to school districts nationally. To date, The Calculus Project has impacted over 10,000 students in over 100 middle and high schools in Massachusetts and Florida.
The students learned various topics and got to interact with the man himself. There was a healthy discussion on how he overcame his struggles and got his Doctorate degree.
Dance Friday: Kathak Day
On 8th July, as part of Special Fridays, our guest speaker, Anjali Nath graced us for the occasion. She explained how Kathak is a culture and not just a dance form before elaborating on certain Kathak concepts like ‘Ardhanaripurush’, Taal’, ‘Teental’. Teental is a 16-beat cycle that is used throughout any Kathak dance piece. She also showed through the Teental how the human body could adapt and change to any rhythm.
Later, she engaged student volunteers to shout out different numbers within the Teental scale and she would then dance to that particular rhythm with such grace and poise.
"Kathak is not a hobby. It is a way of life." Pandit Chitresh Das
Engineering Field Day
The Engineering Field Day was held on 15th July 2022 by Dr. Kathryn Grahame.
Dr. Kathryn Schulte Grahame is a Teaching Professor at Northeastern University and the Associate Director of the First-Year Engineering Team at Northeastern University. The focus of this team is on providing a consistent, comprehensive, and constructive educational experience that endorses the student-centered, professional, and practice-oriented mission of Northeastern University. She teaches the Cornerstone of Engineering courses to first-year students as well as courses within the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Teacher of First-Year Students Award and is interested in research that complements and informs her teaching.
She works closely with the Director of First-Year Engineering to develop the direction of the first-year program and manage administrative operations for the department, including the FYELIC. Coordinates the scheduling of 30+ courses for the First-Year Engineering Program.
The students got to understand the different engineering fields there are, such as Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Biotechnology Engineering to name a few. Dr. Kathryn spoke about how children can enter the various fields of Engineering and what their careers will look like if they choose to. Another topic that was discussed is the process and the nuances of engineering design. The children were taught what it means to be able to able to go through the task of engineering design with the help of an activity. The activity was to remove particular-colored beans that would represent the cancer cells in a person mixed with the other cells. The students were given different tools they could use like, scissors, glue, beads, straws with a few others to help them to design a machine that could extract the cancer cells and leave the good cells untouched. The cells were represented by beans in a bowl. The catch here was that within the stipulated time, which was 30 seconds if all the cancer cells were not removed, the students were asked to double the remaining number of cancer cells. It was a whole new learning experience not only for the students but even for the mentors and the teachers present.
Pre Finals Week
During the pre-finals week, we had students present their topics to practice, give feedback and see the progress they had made so far.
The day started with The Loopers, Enrique, James, and Najma kicking off with Infinity in Math and Society. They had associated infinity with the horizon.
Then, Stephanie, Mekhi, and Nashly presented their work on Math and Architecture. Stephanie also painted two amazing paintings and she eloquently explained about basics of architecture and how math was used in it. She had made paintings of sky-scrapers from an ant’s eye view to demonstrate her viewpoint.
Then, Emmanuel, Anthony, and Juan elaborate on Nigerian, Columbian, and Honduran Math.
After that, we had the Timekeepers, Quan and Omar present about the ancient time systems and time measuring instruments used in Egyptian and Mayan cultures.
Later, we had David, Ibukunoluwa, and Braddy talk about Levels of Infinity. We also had an interesting debate on whether a set of natural numbers and a set of even numbers were of equal size.
Next came Lenscy and Meylin to talk about the Golden Ratio and whether it was a magic number or just another gimmick.
After that, Isabella, Ruben, and David presented their findings on how Math was used in Mayan Culture and their calendars.
Then, we had Sibrina and Zhou Yang talk about how the Golden Ratio was used in creating famous paintings.
We then moved on to Sumerian-Babylonian Mathematics presented by Doris Wong and Samarrah Olivier.
Finally, The Kathak dance number by Virmarie, Max, Ajary, Azzure, Lakhpa, Anes, and co. was the highlight, and that marked the end of the presentation practice session.
It was bright and sunny on the final day. Students assembled at the presentation hall teeming with excitement and a bit of nervousness.
This was the first time they would present their projects to families and members of Northeastern, BPS, and guests. However, they had been working hard on preparing.
Program director, Raj Jesudason and former mentor and co-founder of Literacy Movement 4 More, Seema Korumilli co-hosted the event.
The event started with the Rhythmathaks — the Kathak group. They took the stage to demonstrate how math was used in an Indian Classical Dance form called Kathak. Anes was on the mini drums and even our program director, Raj, had a role! Later Ajary showed how the base 16 in Kathak is very similar to American Rap and Hip Hop. He got the audience clapping.
The next to present was the Math and Culture team, comprised of Ruben, David, Isabella, Emmanuel, Juan, Anthony, Sarah, and Yogeidi. Next up was Stephanie who demonstrated how math was used in art and architecture using a painting that she worked on for days. She also brought in her final canvas to show it to everybody.
Then we had Eric show us how math was used in Rock Progressions and even entertained us with his solo guitar riffs. In addition to that, we had The Timekeepers explain different time systems used across different cultures, like the Myans and Babylonians.
Another group comprised David, Brady, JBK, James, and Enrique discussed different levels of infinity. Meylin, Minh, and Lenscy and the golden ratio.
Alum Tristan Campbell, Chris Suplice, Alejandrina Estrada imparted words of wisdom, and Israel Jorge Acosta from the Mexican Consulate entertained with a number parody. Raj and Seema summarized the day and summer and we ended with a virtual recording of “African Skies” by Amanda Martinez who came into the program last year to show how we will always be connected.
The event was joyous, informative and a great celebration of fun and work-filled summer. Students, teachers, parents, mentors, and NU and BPS officials congregated and shared at this end-of-summer celebration!