The prestigious 8th Grade American Math Competitions are targeted towards 13 to 14 year olds. Yet a few weeks ago our 10-year-old campers embarked on a mathematical journey to approach and solve AMC-8 problems! Why do we offer a class that is so advanced for the students' age level? What is so important about learning 8th-grade math?
Whereas many children think of math as a systematic, dry subject in which they must simply memorise formulas and input numbers, AMC questions require a genuine understanding of the way in which math works and a creative approach to solving problems. By testing their ability to apply math to real-life situations, AMC gives students a strong foundation in problem-solving and mathematical thinking. Throughout the week, our students worked through tens of questions involving a wide range of topics, from geometry to statistics to algebra. This immersion in pure math was one that not many of them had experienced and they enjoyed the challenge of understanding the power of unknown variables, why we calculate medians and solving simultaneous equations.
The AMC camp guided students to learn new mathematical concepts and leave equipped with essential middle-school and high-school math skills. But most importantly, our campers left with the knowledge that math is not a rigid, tedious subject, but an exciting and powerful language.