On Friday, July 20, 2018, the UMD College of Education’s Mathletics camp participants gathered on the College Park campus for presentations from the camp leaders, as well as for students to present their final projects. Camp directors, instructors, counselors, and parents and friends of camp members assembled in Benjamin Building for a recap of the program and a gallery walk of students’ research posters.
The Mathletics program is a summer camp at UMD for rising 7th-9th graders from area schools, where students learn data analytics through the lens of sports analytics. Designed to increase students’ knowledge of statistics and interest in STEM careers, the program includes classroom learning experiences, sports tours and sessions at UMD Golf Course, Xfinity Center, and other UMD athletics facilities.
At the award ceremony, students’ research projects covered topics that ranged from whether there is a home field advantage for certain sports teams to how professional teams in a multiplayer video game called Overwatch stack up against one another.
The athletic and academic enrichment camp is co-facilitated by UMD College of Education faculty members’ Dr. Stephanie Timmons Brown and Dr. Lawrence M. Clark, who founded the program, with UMD students serving as camp counselors and certified teachers directing and teaching the program. Additional Mathletics camp staff include:
- Mr. Perry, program director and certified teacher
- Head Coaches Megan Lusby and Elliott Shiotani
- Assistant Coaches and undergraduate STEM majors Abdul Almaroof and Heyam Abadir
The six-week program provides sports and math enrichments for local middle school students and several parents whose children—or their siblings—have attended the camp for multiple summers spoke to the group about the value the program provided to their children. Students testified that despite the word ‘math’ in the title, the program, which included many athletic endeavors, was interesting and fun and that they were engaged by learning about analytics.
In her presentation, Dr. Timmons Brown discussed how she and Dr. Clark were motivated to create a program that prepared middle school students to excel and advance in math and to ensure that youth received the foundational classes that enable them to pursue STEM majors, if desired.