Stellated Icosahedron Watch Out for that Last Step


Texas A&M University

Program Description

For the past 6 years, the Texas A&M Math Department has sponsored a Summer Educational Enrichment in Math (SEE-Math) Program for middle school students entering the 6th, 7th or 8th grade under the direction of Dr. Yasskin.


Each year we have had between 75 and 200 applicants. Of these. we have accepted 45-60 students based on their ability and interest in math and science as reported by their teachers. Many of the students have been identified as gifted and most are in advanced or honors math or science sections. Most students have completed 5th, 6th or 7th grade, but a few younger students have been accepted because of their advanced abilities. Each year, we have had about 50% females and about 30% minorities.

An effort is made to accept a few students from each of the Brazos Valley schools plus home schoolers. Parents must provide transportation each day. There are no over night accomodations, although several students who are not in commuting distance have attended by staying with older siblings who are students at Texas A&M or with other relatives.


Each year, the instruction has been provided by 8 to 15 faculty with the help of 3 to 7 grad students and 1 to 9 undergrad students. In the last three years 7 or 8 former participants, now in high school, have returned as junior counselor. One year, a middle school teacher also helped. For the last three years, we have had help from several grad students who work for the NSF GK-12 program run by Larry Johnson at Texas A&M.


The program runs Monday through Friday for 2 weeks for 4 hours per day. Each day is divided into a first 70 minute class, a 30 minute "break time", a second 70 minute class and a 55 minute elective time where students can choose to work on their computer projects or go to a math games activity. The students are divided into 3 groups of 15 to 18 kids roughly according to grade to attend their classes. Each instructor teaches 1 or 2 classes, once for each age group. Each group is assigned an undergrad or grad counselor and a junior counselor who meet them when they arrive, escort them from class to class, assist the instructor during the class and supervise their dismissal.


The activities covered in the regular class periods are listed and described on the activities page. In addition, there are several other activities:

During the "break time", the students can solve a daily problem, a Sudoku and a Cryptogram, solve mathematical puzzles and play mathematical games while they eat their refreshments. Each night we also send some problems home to work with their families. They accumulate points for prizes at the end of the two weeks.

On Thursday of the second week, they participate in a Math Contest which is primarily based on the material covered in the program.

This year, we also had a Buzz Constest. The description appears on the activities page.

On Friday of the second week, we have an open house for parents, we have a guest speaker, we show the students' computer animations, and we present awards.

© Philip B. Yasskin, 2005-08.
Last updated July 9, 2008