CAMP 2023 Day 5

It’s the 5th and final day of the 10th year of CAMP. This morning, while they puzzled out Slitherlink challenges, magic tricks, and Set – games that many of them had never seen before the beginning of the week – the CAMPers recieved their ocean blue T-shirts, just in time for a big group photo on the stairs inside RKC.

After that, the CAMPers split into SINE and COS for math class, where both groups were working on ice cream bowl problems (and their variations). The SINE group game together to discuss their solutions to the problems they worked on yesterday: the ice cream problem, the handshake problem, the shortest-paths problem, and the sharing-cookies problem. Next, Frances introduced them to Pascal’s Triangle, a triangle of numbers where the middle entry below two numbers is always the sum of those two numbers. The CAMPers constructed the triangle from scratch, then looked along its diagonals, finding the counting numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc) and the triangular numbers.

“In France, there are actually streets named after mathematicians and schools named after mathematicians… There’s a street named after Pascal.”

– Frances

Meanwhile, COS continued working on their table from Day 4, which showed the number of ice cream flavors and the number of ice cream bowl (ICB) combinations for a 2-scoop ICB. The CAMPers observed that the number of ICB combinations was always a triangular number (a number made from summing up counting numbers): 1 + 2 = 3, 1 + 2 + 3 = 6, 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10, 1 + 2+ 3 + 4 + 5 = 15, etc … . Japheth then handed out individual problems for each of the smaller groups to investigate. Their goal was to find an isomorphism between them – to figure out what made the problems the same. They found that the handshake problem was isomorphic to (the same as) the ice cream bowl problem… the two remaining problems – shortest paths and cookies – were left to the CAMPers as puzzles to think about for the rest of the summer.

In Art class, the CSC group wrapped up their Spot It! decks, origami cranes, and doodles for the end-of-CAMP photo booth.

Meanwhile, in CS class, the SEC group worked on drawing a ball, making it move, and controlling all the aspects of its motion on the canvas – for example, speed in a certain direction, with ballspeed_x and ballspeed_y. Next, they learned about void draw(), void setup(), and void keyPressed(), which helps to organize the code, making it look less messy on the screen by grouping pieces of code together. At the end of class, Arnav showed the CAMPers some of the mesmerizing creations that use Java processing – for example, .

“You should all be proud of yourselves… in, like, 5 hours of study, you’ve already covered more in processing than a lot of people have in their college classes.”

– Arnav

After class, CAMPers grouped together for Friday electives – AMC contest problems, decorating the photo booth, and more tic-tac-toe variations with sidewalk chalk.

In Computer Science, the CSC group learned more about the inner workings of a computer. They talked about input – the information that the computer receives, from buttons on a keyboard or a microphone – and output, which appears on the screen or from the speakers. The input is stored as the computer’s memory, either volatile (temporary) or non-volatile (permanent, unless you delete it). They talked about the CPU (Central Processing Unit) before switching gears to talk about text binary – the CAMPers wrote “hello” notes to each other in 0’s and 1’s as their last activity before the open house

… where, at the end of the day, the CAMPers were given the chance to showcase the puzzles, games, and code they had been working on all week.

(A Tip for Parents: If you want a first-hand account of what your child has been learning this week, be sure to take a peek at their notebook! )

The 10th year of CAMP was an absolute blast – an explosion of creativity, where everyone jumped in to ask questions, try ideas out, and work as a team on a quest for the answer. This week, the CAMPers dove right into new concepts, exploring areas of math, CS, and art that most of them had never touched before – from magic tricks to juggling to coding in Java, to the intricacies of ice cream scoops and Spot It! and computers. Wherever they go next, they’ll be able to tap into the new kind of thinking they learned at CAMP – a mindset of questioning, exploration, and discovery.