C of I wins grants for Math and Science Summer Institute

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A group of College of Idaho professors has teamed up to bring a math and science camp to campus for local middle school students. Dr. Robin Cruz (math), Dr. Jim Dull (physics), Dr. Katie Devine (physics) and Dr. Luke Daniels (biology) have secured funding through three grants to support the Math and Science Summer Institute, a camp for students of Caldwell’s Syringa Middle School set for June 6-10.

C of I was awarded $6,000 by the Mathematical Association of America’s Tensor-SUMMA Grant Program. The College also received $5,000 in matching funds from NASA’s Idaho Space Consortium and $2,000 from Micron, Inc.

“In researching for these grants, we found that the dropout rate was pretty high at schools here in Caldwell,” Cruz said. “The goal of this program is to provide some incentive for kids to stay in school by showing them the interesting things they can do in the sciences if they stick with it.”

The Math and Science institute is now in its third year. Cruz and Dr. Ann Koga (biology) started the program in 2009, collaborating with Syringa Middle School principal and C of I alumna Louise Daniels ’72. Daniels has since retired, but the institute lives on. This year’s seventh graders will study epidemiology, the study of health-event patterns in society, while the eighth graders will study the probability of a large asteroid or meteor hitting Earth and the ramifications of such an event. The students will present their findings at 10:30 a.m. Friday in Boone Hall room 101. C of I students Daisy Ambriz, Dayne Filer and Erick Valenzuela are helping Cruz, Daniels, Devine and Dull run the camp.

“We are committed to helping local, disadvantaged and traditionally underrepresented students succeed in math and science and eventually attend college,” Dull said. “I thank NASA and the Idaho Space Grant Consortium for awarding the MSSI a Special Projects grant to continue giving Caldwell students the opportunity to explore math and science.”

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another ten Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit http://www.collegeofidaho.edu.

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