Thursday, June 28, 2018

Summer Camp

The term #camp has take on various connotations, however summer camp remains a ritual activity for families seeking activities for the kids when school is out.  I went to a summer camp in Sardinia, when my family lived in Rome.  I remember being homesick.  My parents stopping by for a visit made it worse, though I'm glad they visited.  The camp language was mostly Italian and my Italian wasn't very good.

This year, I signed up with Saturday Academy to do another edition / iteration of what I call Martian Math wherein I converge science fiction, a little history, some astronomy, and the off-beat 4D stuff I learned from transcendentalists, Bucky Fuller in particular.  I'm up front with the kids that I'm drawing from this source for what I call "martian" -- not a secret.

Summer camp is not supposed to be grueling or any kind of unwelcome imposition on the customer.  We're aiming to provide entertainment, and in a well equipped, well connected computer lab, with middle schoolers, that tends to mean games.  My approach is to introduce each meetup with a short lecture when they're fresh, and then permit multiple activities.  Quite a few opted to assemble C6XTY or try out Lux Blox.  I also had a folding paper exercise, wherein we might assemble a whole Tetrahedron.  I didn't get enough interest for this last activity, but did have a completed tetrahedron already made.

Again, I featured War of the Worlds as featured on CBS radio by Orson Wells and company.  Today I played a 48 minute program in the background, covering that incident.  Later I switched to showing Mandelbulb reveries.  In both cases I kept the sound a relatively low volume and didn't mind if student attention were focused elsewhere.

This morning's lecture featured the number series 1, 3, 6, 10, 15... (triangular numbers) along with the tetrahedral 1, 4, 10, 20, 35... (cumulative), both found in Pascal's Triangle.  Then 1, 12, 42, 92... took us to the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences and the link to my web page on the the Microarchitecture of the Virus.  There's a tie-in here, to War of the Worlds, as it was microbial life that eventually brought down the Martians, otherwise the humans would surely have perished.