June 07, 2019
UNE recently hosted more than 200 fifth grade students from RSU 21 for a mathematics festival to expand their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival supports locally organized events that inspire students to think critically and to explore mathematics through collaborative, creative problem-solving.
Students choose among several tables offering problem sets, games, or puzzles with mathematical themes. The festival engages many types of students, including those who don’t enjoy competition or working under time pressure. They work as long as they wish, while a facilitator provides support and encouragement. Several UNE faculty members worked with the students as facilitators.
“The students had a great time and enjoyed being at UNE,” commented Sheila Wells, RSU 21 STEM Coordinator. “Even with the University so close to their hometowns, many students have never visited a college campus. Just the experience of driving through the University, seeing the athletic fields, Leonard Hall and Ripich Commons was truly an experience they will not forget.”
The festival is also a community event, bringing together institutions and organizations to celebrate mathematics.
“We would love to extend an invitation to UNE faculty to visit any of our schools and really develop the relationship between our district and the University,” Wells stated.
Wells says the festival is made possible only through the generous support of Corning Inc., The University of New England, the Education Foundation of the Kennebunks and Arundel, and RSU 21.