February 15, 2024

Area students take part in Math & Science Day at Cowley College

Math and Science Day event

Students from area high schools recently attended Cowley College’s Math & Science Day event held on the main campus in Arkansas City. 

The event brought together five schools from different locations. The participating schools included South Haven, Caldwell, Rose Hill, Wellington, and Newkirk. The event aimed to promote and celebrate the importance of mathematics and science education. 

During Math & Science Day, students had the opportunity to engage in various activities and workshops that showcased the practical applications of these subjects. The event provided a platform for students to enhance their problem-solving skills, critical thinking abilities, and scientific knowledge. 

By bringing together multiple schools, Math & Science Day fostered a collaborative learning environment where students could interact with peers from different educational backgrounds. This exchange of ideas and experiences further enriched their understanding of mathematics and science. Overall, Math & Science Day served as a valuable platform for promoting STEM education and inspiring young minds to pursue careers in these fields. 

“The event was an exciting opportunity for students to explore the wonders of math and science while fostering a spirit of curiosity and innovation among them,” Natural Science & Mathematics Department Specialist Paige Toon said. 

Winners of the competitions earned monetary prizes, graphing calculators, or tuition scholarships to attend Cowley College. Activities included building and testing a ping pong ball launcher, performing a chemical analysis of selected materials, solving math puzzles, and unlocking clues to complete a specific task.  

Natural Science instructor Pam Smith said they had a successful day in the CSI competition where the first-place team earned a perfect score, and the second and third-place teams were just a few points behind.

“The competitors had a fun time, gave maximum effort, and used their best problem-solving skills to solve the "crime," Smith said. “It seemed that each team learned something from the competition that will hopefully be useful in their future STEM studies.”

Mathematics instructor Steve Cooper thought this year’s Puzzlefest competition was especially challenging.

“Students exhibited an admirable amount of prolonged concentration as they studiously solved each of the math questions that allowed them to successfully match the puzzle pieces,” Cooper said. “A few students were able to complete the bonus puzzle and earn a door prize.”

The Write-It, Build-It competition went extremely well, with 15 teams competing with one member writing directions their partners would use to reconstruct a scientific apparatus they had never seen. Points were given as these teams raced against the clock to write precise directions and build the most accurate apparatus.

During the Ping Pong Launcher apparatus, the students had three minutes to score as many points as possible. Each team had three attempts. There were three targets worth 20, 30, and 50 points. 

 Our two highest-scoring groups were 750  and  610 points, which is a really good score,” physics instructor Braidon Hughes said. 

The students found the Breakout activity challenging and had to work as a team to figure out the clues, which included science, math, and problem-solving. Each clue that was deciphered or solved allowed the students to open a particular lock on a metal box containing small prizes. Some locks were traditional number or key locks, but other locks were opened with directional arrows or combinations of letters. The students had a 50-minute time limit. 

“Three teams were able to solve all of the clues in less than 30 minutes, which was very impressive,” Biology instructor Laura Wollard said. “All remaining teams were able to solve the puzzles with only a few hints within the time limit. This was the first time doing a breakout-type activity, and the students seemed to really enjoy the overall experience and challenge.”

Rama Peroo | Director of Institutional Communication
Cowley College
125 S. 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005