Second annual UHV camp aims to make math fun

Math can conjure up images of stacks of worksheets, dull pencils with chewed off erasers and boredom - things that definitely don't mix with summer.


But University of Houston-Victoria education students are making math fun during the summer break. UHV's second annual Friday Fractions and More Math Camp will take place July 18 and 25 at O'Connor Magnet Elementary School, 3402 Bobolink Lane in Victoria.


Former University of Houston-Victoria education student Marie Mendoza, center, helps Aaliyah Owens, left, and Karina Archondo graph jelly beans by color during the 2007 UHV Friday Fractions and More Math Camp in Victoria. The 2008 camp is scheduled for July 18 and 25 at O’Connor Magnet Elementary School in Victoria.
"There's not going to be a bunch of worksheets. It's mostly going to be hands-on," said Barba Patton, an assistant professor in the UHV School of Education & Human Development. About 30 students taking Patton's Early Childhood Math and Science class will plan the camp and teach the participants.


Although the students have just started meeting to plan math activities for the camp, last year's elementary school campers got to measure "fish" made out of socks to determine if they were "keepers," sort and graph jelly beans by color, and squirt water guns and then measure whose sprayed the farthest.


"The purpose of the camp is for the teacher candidates to get experience working with students and to provide students with activities that might change their attitudes toward math," Patton said.


The camp will last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. The cost is $20, which includes activities, lunch and a snack both days, plus a T-shirt. Any student who will be going into first through fifth grade in the fall is invited to attend.


"It can be for a child who loves math and wants to play or the child who is weaker in math and wants some extra help," Patton said.


Marie Mendoza, a UHV graduate who taught at the camp last summer, said her time spent there helped this spring when she was hired as a kindergarten teacher at Mission West Elementary School in Houston.


"Coming up with fun math lessons during math camp really helped me as a first-year teacher," she said. "One of my favorite lessons I taught at camp was allowing the students to estimate and measure various objects with gummy worms. It really had them thinking."


The camp is open to the first 75 students who register, and the deadline is July 1. For more information about the camp, contact Patton at 361-570-4271 or For registration information, contact the UHV School of Education & Human Development at 361-570-4262 or 361-570-4261.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler