Spring 2016 – End of Semester Celebration

Students and parents enjoyed the first sunny days in what seemed like ages by celebrating the end of the NW Saturday Academy semester on Saturday, May 14th at Northminster Presbyterian Church, After a brief organizing meetings, students and parents divided into teams to strategize and work on their Math Auction problems.  Math auction is a game where teams bid against each other for the right to answer some tricky pre-algebra type questions. Here is one of the questions from yesterday’s game:

Problem 3

The eighth grade class at Washington Middle School is raffling off a turkey as a moneymaking project.

  1.  If the turkey cost $22 and raffle tickets are sold for $1.50 each, how many tickets will have to be sold for the class to break even?
  2.  How many tickets will have to be sold if the class is to make a profit of $100? What about $200?

A team has a stronger solution for this problem if it is able to continue the list starting from where the previous team stopped.

One of our student teams correctly part one of this question and Mr. Sears took a moment to teach the gathering the algebra behind the answer to part two.

In a shocking upset, “Team Super Moms” won the day’s auction, ending the day with a total of 345 points!  Go Moms!

After the auction, many students had the opportunity to demonstrate the Scratch projects on the big screen in front of the group.  It was an exciting experience as some students have been working diligently for more than two months on these projects.

student coding

A student presents his coding project

student pong

A student shows the video game he created

The variety of projects was really impressive; there were video games, interactive cards and story routines.  The students picked up some very useful skills during the semester and it was great seeing them apply them in a useful way.

Next, we had a brief awards ceremony.  Every student received a nice certificate to indicate her participation in the project.  In addition, the six students who completed our 200 question TenMarks math challenge also received a $25 Regal Cinemas gift certificate.

Overall I think this was our best semester yet.  We really challenged the students to exercise and expand their critical thinking skills each week by learning new code fundamentals in the Scratch class and digging deep to find answers in the “Russian Math Cirlce” format.  The teachers and I were very impress at the students persistence and willingness to work hard on some tough problems. This experience will serve our graduating fifth graders well as they move on to middle school and serve as a launch pad for our returning students next year.

On that note, we are already beginning preparations for our Fall 2016 semester.  We will participate in the Virginia/DC FIRST LEGO League region next year instead of the Maryland region.  Virginia/DC has a extremely accelerated schedule which basically begins during the first week of school next year.  To meet that challenge, we plan to have all of our teams assembled before the end of the June. Parents of returning students, please visit our enrollment page at http://www.nwsadc.com/enroll-now/ as soon as possible and register your child for next year so that we can set enrollment and know how many available spaces we have for new students. The sooner you do this, the more it helps us.  Thank you.

Have a happy and safe summer!

Christopher