AccessSTEM and AccessComputing Support High School Students at UW Math Day 2010

Debra Zawada, DO-IT staff

On March 22, 2010, students with disabilities joined hundreds of other high school students at the University of Washington's Twentieth Annual Math Day. From presentations such as "Robots that Run, Climb, Flap, and Swim" to "How Weather Forecasts are Made," students had the opportunity to hear from scientists directly about how they use math. Students were also able to participate in a variety of hands-on activities, including the mathematics of juggling, magic, and card tricks and the physics of boomerangs.

In addition to exposure to various math topics, students experienced the UW Seattle campus. Many of these students had never been on campus before. Moving from workshop to workshop allowed them the chance to navigate the large campus.

Five local high school students who were deaf or hearing impaired, along with fifteen students with hidden disabilities, gathered for a catered networking lunch during which computer science graduate students presented their current projects. Participants heard first-hand the importance of math in computer science research. The students enjoyed learning about the different projects, and they were especially pulled in by the "wow" factor of Mobile ASL, which allows users to communicate in sign language via compressed video through cell phones.

Participant comments included:

  • I thought the field trip was excellent. I learned a lot about math and how it is used in everyday life.
  • I liked the magic show. It was a good day, interesting facts in the robot activity.