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Math, science add up to mammoth fun

Math, science add up to mammoth fun

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LINCOLN - Junior high students interested in math and science will be able to make some mammoth discoveries this summer at Lincoln College.

The college is holding its first-ever day camp, "MAmmoTH Hunters," to help those in seventh through ninth grades learn how mathematics and science interact by using a mammoth tusk and tooth found last fall by students and a science professor from Lincoln College.

Registration is open to students living in the Lincoln area. The program will run from 9 a.m. to noon June 19-23. Cost is $100; space is limited to the first 25 who register. To register, call (217) 732-3155, Ext. 327.

The enrollment fee covers a free compass, T-shirt, snacks and the opportunity to win prizes, some of which may be valued at more than $100, said science professor G. Dennis Campbell.

"We wanted a way to continue on with the discovery and excitement of our mammoth finds," said Campbell. "We now have the mammoth tooth on display in our library and hope to have our tusks on view by the time the camp begins. We want to make students not so afraid of math and science by incorporating it with something that middle-schoolers would be interested in."

Math professor Mari J. Baker said the idea came from a lunch conversation on how to connect the two fields of study with everyday application.

Campbell said students will learn about the mammoth discovery to get them excited about the program, and have a chance to measure the tusk and tooth to make a life-size chalk outline of "Judd," the nickname for the mammoth.

The beast is named for Judd McCullum, the Lincoln College student who discovered its remains.

"Math is the language of science, and it's fun to be able to draw conclusions on things we don't see in front of us," said Campbell.

Students will use graphing calculators, maps, a compass and GPS units; will calculate tree heights; and will visit the site of the mammoth finds to do their own excavations and look at the largest sycamore trees in the county.

"We enjoy math and science, and junior high students are the future," said Campbell. "It's always been our dream to play as kids in the summer."

Campbell hopes this summer's camp will parlay into multiple summer courses with different themes.

"If junior high students benefit and have fun at the same time, then our program will be a success," said Campbell.

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