Indiana County Middle School Students Participate in Inaugural Serafini Math Camp at IUP

Posted on 7/19/2019 3:31:31 PM

Some 20 students from Indiana County met IUP mathematicians; learned about mobius strips, matrices, flexagons, and tiling with pentaminoe; used virtual reality glasses; experimented with a 3D printer; and launched film canister rockets during the inaugural Serafini Middle School Math camp at IUP July 15 to 19, 2019.

Click on any images below to view as a slideshow.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a taste of virtual reality with VR goggles.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a taste of virtual reality with VR goggles.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a taste of virtual reality with VR goggles.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a taste of virtual reality with VR goggles.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a taste of virtual reality with VR goggles.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a taste of virtual reality with VR goggles.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a chance to use a stereoscope, which creates a three-dimensional image from two separate photos.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp experimented with Mobius strips.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a chance to use a stereoscope, which creates a three-dimensional image from two separate photos.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp experimented with Mobius strips.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a chance to use a stereoscope, which creates a three-dimensional image from two separate photos.

Students got a chance to use a stereoscope, which creates a three-dimensional image from two separate photos.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a chance to use a stereoscope, which creates a three-dimensional image from two separate photos.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp did a rocket launch activity, collecting data points and trying to model the path of the rockets.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a chance to use a stereoscope, which creates a three-dimensional image from two separate photos.

Serafini Math Camp director Rachelle Bouchet provided the “rocket fuel” (Alka Seltzer pellets) for the rocket launch activity.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a chance to use a stereoscope, which creates a three-dimensional image from two separate photos.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp “launched” their own designed film canister rockets.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a chance to use a stereoscope, which creates a three-dimensional image from two separate photos.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp designed a variety of rocket shapes and sizes for the rocket launch activity.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a chance to use a stereoscope, which creates a three-dimensional image from two separate photos.

There they go! Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp designed, built and “launched” film canister rockets.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp got a chance to use a stereoscope, which creates a three-dimensional image from two separate photos.

Students in the Inaugural Serafini Math Camp designed rockets in a variety of shapes and sizes for the rocket launch activity.

The inaugural program was offered by the IUP Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. Rachelle Bouchat coordinated the camp, which included programs by a number of IUP mathematics faculty. 

Projects for the camp were designed to allow campers to actively explore mathematics in a variety of ways, including seeing the connections between mathematics and art. Campers were students entering sixth through eighth grade for the fall 2020 academic year.

Funds for the Mathematics camp are provided by IUP graduate Terry Serafini.

Following an initial $1 million gift to the university’s Eberly College of Business and Information Technology and the John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in 2010, Serafini gave a second $1-million gift to the university in 2018 to fund scholarships for high-achieving business honors students and to enable the university to provide summer mathematics learning opportunities for high school students, which is the program being held July 15–19. 

These funds also established a visiting mathematician program, which brings to IUP a high-profile math expert to lecture and interact with students. The inaugural Serafini lecturer, Arthur Benjamin, visited IUP in fall 2018. 

Serafini is a 1961 graduate of IUP, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. After serving as an officer in the US Army, Serafini began his business career in 1964 as a computer systems marketing representative for the IBM Corporation. Six years later, he became a partner and co-owner of Computerpeople, Inc. During his 27 years of association, Computerpeople grew to employ over 1,300 computer professionals. Serafini also co-founded Compucom, Inc., a digital imaging and microfilm solutions company located in Pittsburgh.

Serafini recognizes the importance of philanthropic support at IUP and has used his gifts to motivate the generosity of IUP students through initiatives they are passionate about. With his first matching gift incentive, students took responsibility for their own environment and invested in a new campus park, the Grant Street Park Project. Most recently, with a keen interest in combating food insecurity on campus, Serafini leveraged a $25,000 gift, to motivate students to support and establish a food pantry at IUP. With a record-breaking amount of student donors, Serafini has been instrumental in educating our students about the importance of philanthropy and showing how they can make a difference.

Serafini’s donations are part of IUP’s Imagine Unlimited $75-million comprehensive campaign, which currently has gifts totaling over $62 million. The campaign will enable the IUP community to reach its shared vision and step forward as a national leader, distinguished by new thinking that has no limits and that cuts across traditional academic boundaries.