The Year 9 Atherton Tableland Mathematics Enrichment Camp has a long title but quite a simple aim, which is to enable students to develop and extend skills in co-operating and communicating with others in order to solve mathematical problems in unfamiliar situations.
2016 saw the Year 9 Mathematics enrichment camp celebrate twenty-four years in existence. In 1993 the camp began as a joint initiative of Mareeba State High school and the Tinaroo Environmental Education Centre. A year 7/8 camp was actually held in 1992 focusing almost exclusively on MITE- Maths in the Environment activities. The move to cater for the year 9 cohort across all Tableland schools was primarily because the level of Maths allowed for richer activities to be run without the need for extensive prior skilling.
With the ramping up of middle school Mathematics due almost exclusively to the introduction of the Australian Curriculum across all Queensland schools we can expect students arriving at camp with significantly increased skill sets in the near future.
In 2016, 33 students attended from Mareeba SHS, Atherton SHS, Malanda SHS and Dimbulah SS.
The success of this camp can be attributed to a number of factors: The venue, core staff, worthwhile fun program, good food, planned selection of downtime activities, themed team competitions, supportive school administrative teams, student selection processes, funding on occasions from QAMT , Mareeba based 'Fabris Trust Fund' and 'Sonia Fenwick Trust Fund'.
Near the conclusion of most of our camps we have asked students to write a paragraph reflecting their experiences and discussing perceived strengths and weaknesses of the camp. Over 90% of our campers provide genuine feedback which we “take on board”.
“A good venue, plenty of space to socialise as well as a lot of good activities. The sessions were good, lots of new skills were developed and also improved other skills. It was fantastic to meet the other maths excellent students from other schools, we learnt to make new friends, so not only did we learn maths, we also learnt social skills and team work. The food was good. Thank you very much. It was a fantastic camp.”
“ The canoeing was a great idea. Keep up the amount of ‘free time’. The meals were also great. Just a great general feeling.”
“I liked the swing and the Topology and the mapping session with the informatics teacher. Thank you for the good time. Just one thing- make the navigation course bigger so we can use the compass better”
“Thank you for allowing me to come on the camp. It was really enjoyable. The quiz was my favourite part of the camp. Thanks.”
“Thumbs up to codes, canoeing, navigational challenges, towers, swing.”
“Things that were enjoyable during camp: Swing, canoe, towers, final challenge, code breaking. These experiences were enjoyable because we were able to get to know our peers. All was great and the maths vocabulary of some of us kids has greatly increased.”