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Math Science Workshop 2011

Katelynn Christensen, March 2, 2011
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Pacific Union College opened its campus to 126 high school seniors from Northern California, representing ten schools, in its 46th annual Math Science Workshop, February 27-28. Directed by math and science department chairs, the workshop provided students with the opportunity to attend math and science classes and perform experiments in the college setting.

The workshop offered a two-day schedule packed with activities. Students attended a variety of PUC classes, including Calculus, Intro. to Computer Science, General Chemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Philosophy of Origins. Professors also held Question and Answer sessions on the topics of math, biology, chemistry, physics and engineering, and computer science.  

Biology department chair and workshop coordinator Robin Vance hopes the workshop allowed students to “do some actual experiments and have fun doing [them].”

Academy students chose between additional seminars specific to their field interest. Students focusing on chemistry conducted a classic experiment to determine the mass of a sample of copper; biology students emphasized the theme of equilibrium; physics and mathematics students collected data on the decay of radioactive samples; and students interested in computer science used computers to program several types of random number generators, used the generators to simulate the radioactive decay of unstable nuclei, and applied them to computer game design.

Other workshop highlights included group devotionals, demonstrations, one-on-one meetings with college advisors, and an exotic animal display show.

“I think this year’s workshop was a wonderful success,” says PUC computer science, mathematics and physics department chair and workshop orchestrator Lloyd Best, who attended the workshop as a Mountain View Academy senior in 1965. “We had a delightfully large number of students.”