As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, while mathematics might be pretty much universally despised among primary and secondary school age children, it is also one of the most important subjects taught in compulsary education, and many still aim for good grades despite their feelings on it. The first Croatian summer mathematics camp, Math Magic, could hold the answer to making things more fun.
With this goal in mind, the first Math Magic camp for children aged 6 to 10 will be held in July in the historic Dalmatian city of Sibenik.
It was started by Antica Filipovic Grcic and Sarah Vukovic, friends from school who started Malac Genijalac two years ago, an international school for the intellectual development of children – first, Vukovic started it independently in Sibenik, where they both come from, and then they started it together in Zagreb.
With the latest initiative involving the very first Croatian summer mathematics camp, they decided to bring maths closer to children in a fun and easy way with a cheerful atmosphere and adventure, especially since Vukovic is a professor of mathematics, and Filipovic Grcic is a university specialist in economics who is intensively studying child psychology.
They spoke in more detail how they came up with the idea and what the concept of the camp is that offers children the chance to learn more about mathematics in a fun way through practical examples from life, experiments and projects.
“At the time of the first lockdown due to the pandemic, Sarah was staying with her family in an isolated house in a small town near Sibenik, and Antica was stuck in Kazakhstan.
During that period, we were constantly in touch because we had to handle the school’s business remotely. Getting our heads around online teaching and getting used to the new situation was difficult and exhausting for everyone, but after a while the situation stabilised and we got used to the new normal.
It is with these shared coffees at a distance that the two of us designed several projects, including the Math Magic camp, initiated by thinking about children and learning mathematics during the pandemic when online classes became the norm, which will inevitably result in many knowledge gaps for these kids,” they stated.
As they claim, this is the only such camp that goes beyond the standards of merely organising children’s camps in the context of the accommodation itself, given that it is held in the luxury Sibenik resort called Solaris, more precisely at the Andrija childrens’ camp which boasts 4 stars and which is fully adapted to children. The camp will run for ten days, from July 2-11.
The maximum capacity is 40 children, more precisely 10 for each class for individual access to each student. Applications are open until June the 15th, ie until the places are all filled.
The children will have maths school in the camp every day in the morning for four school hours, with breaks of 10 minutes between each hour. It will also have two school abacus classes each day in the afternoon.
“This programme serves to introduce a new skill by which children can develop their cognitive abilities. For children who are already students of Malac Genijalac, this programme will enable additional practice and improvement of the learned material, and they’ll be able to try their skills out in the role of a teacher.
The rest of the time is reserved for various fun activities under the guidance of a professional team. Each class has its own teacher who is an employee of the Malac Genijalac school and has a profession in the field of education.
Along with the teachers, the first Croatian summer mathematics camp also has its own psychologist who is an employee of the Malac Genijalac school, a tourist guide for children, animators who are employees of the Andrija Hotel, a night watchman, and the two of us in the role of camp leaders,” say Filipovic Grcic and Vukovic.
Otherwise, the Malac Genijalac school is intended for the development of children’s brains, ie their cognitive abilities and intellectual skills. It is a concept that has been expanding across the world, including here at home in Croatia, for six years through franchising, and today in fifteen countries – there are over 200 schools and more than 35,000 end users.
The school runs programmes that develop, among other things, skills such as attention span, photographic memory, logical reasoning, analytical thinking, visualisation, imagination, creativity and self-confidence.
“The results our students can boast of are excellent, and we can boast of winning medals at European and international competitions. The feedback has been phenomenal,” the paur explained.
A series of projects
They are pleased that more and more new educational centres are opening across Croatia where STEM programmes are being implemented – robotics, coding, foreign language schools and lab exercises are all become more within the reach of Croatian children, and with the very first Croatian summer mathematics camp being held this summer, the country can certainly boast of a lot when it comes to children and their education.
For more, follow Made in Croatia.