CAMP 2023 Day 2

The second day of this year’s CAMP started off with a variety of fun math gamesGhost Blitz, Spot It! , a big game of Set, the towers of Hanoi, and a miniature version of chess. The CAMPers were also presented with a “problem of the day”: How many possible Ghost Blitz cards are there?

“… If the object is on the card, then you grab [that object], and if not, you grab the [object] that has nothing in common with the others.”

In Frances’ math class, small groups within SINE had come up with different conclusions about how many cards you could possibly get with a certain number symbols on each card. They were each asked to draw and explain their diagram solutions at the board – some using the “line method”, some using the “grouping method” to show every combination of symbols.

Meanwhile, the COS group launched into an in-depth analysis of Spot It! (both the full and junior versions), making observations to ask questions about how the game works and trying it out together as a class by constructing simple versions – 0 symbols, 1 symbol, 2 symbols – from scratch. Next, the broke into small groups to tackle the 3-symbol case.

To get started, one group decided to use digits instead of letters to stand in for symbols, recognizing that Rule #3 of Spot It! caused Symbol 1 to appear on every card. They then used process of elimination to figure out what the other digits (symbols) on each card should be – once two cards have one symbol in common, they can’t have any other symbols in common. By the end of class, the CAMPers had come up with a pretty solid argument that with 3 symbols per card, there must be 7 cards.

After math class, the SEC group brought their flash drives to Computer Science, where they continued their exploration of shapes and coordinates, then brainstormed how they would go about making shapes that change. Next, they talked about how to fill in color values and how RGB colors channels work – each 24-bit pixel is split between the R channel, the G channel, and the B channel, so they each get 8 pixels. After that, they split into groups, planning out the code to make a shape and change its color – on paper, before they tackled the computers.

After class, CAMPers met in the RKC lobby to sort themselves into their pre-lunch elective groups: learning mathematical magic tricks with Frances, practicing the ability to think fast with improv games, and solving more pencil-and-paper puzzles.

After a great lunch at the Kline Dining Commons (plus unlimited scoops of delicious local ice cream), the CAMPers split up again into CSC and SEC for Computer Science and Art, respectively.

Computer Science at CAMP is different from the kinds of “coding classes” that many middle-school students take online. The CAMP instructors choose to focus on the underlying properties of computers and the instructions that humans feed into them. Understanding binary (strings of 0’s and 1’s that encode base-10 numbers), as well as logical operators (NOT, AND, OR, etc.), sets the foundation for the CAMPers to learn any programming language they choose in the future. With those two concepts in mind, the CSC group started working with truth tables to put it all together.

Meanwhile, the SEC group made progress on their Spot It! decks, adding the symbols they designed to index cards.

At the end of the day, the CAMPers all filed into the Bito Auditorium for more math games, like Ghost Blitz, Chocolate Fix, Rush Hour, and Set.

Day 2 got all the CAMPers thinking deeper and going further, asking questions and working together to find the answers. The rain outside didn’t stop them from using their trademark creativity to find ways to have fun indoors. We can’t wait for more discoveries on Day 3!

Photo Credit: Japheth Wood (featured image), Kateri Doran (images 1-19, 21-30), Shoshi Cohen (image 20).