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Educational Opportunities For Central Texas Students

Senator Wentworth Column

Contact:  Cindy Brockwell

(210) 826-7800

For release February 18, 2011                                                                          


Texas History Contest and Summer Math Camp

by Jeff Wentworth
Texas State Senator, District 25

          Texas students in grades four and above have two excellent learning opportunities, and deadlines to participate are approaching.

            The first program is an essay contest on "Texas Travels" sponsored by the Texas General Land Office's "Save Texas History!" preservation and education program.  Fourth and seventh graders are encouraged to research a Texas town with historical significance or to act as if they were exploring early Texas for settlement, and then write an essay.

            The contest is open to public, private and home-schooled students.  Essays will be judged on originality, organization, grammar and accuracy.

            Eleven finalists for each grade will be selected, and both fourth and seventh grade entries will have a grand prize winner.  Winners' families receive a two-night hotel stay and attraction tickets in San Antonio.  Finalists will receive "Save Texas History!" backpacks and more.

Entries must be postmarked by Saturday, February 26.  You may find complete information, including the entry form and essay instructions, online.

            The second opportunity is a Mathworks summer math program at Texas State University-San Marcos.  Applications are being accepted now.
Founded 21 years ago, Mathworks is a center for mathematics education at Texas State that conducts programs impacting K-12 students and teachers.

The Half-Day Junior Summer Math Camp is a two-week program in San Marcos for students in grades four through eight.  The five different levels of the camp touch on topics ranging from introductory algebra concepts to more advanced problem-solving.  The camp hours are from 8 a.m. to noon each day, and breakfast, a snack and lunch are provided.

The Residential Junior Summer Math Camp is a two-week program on the university campus for 32 high-potential students in grades six through eight.  Topics include advanced problem-solving, combinatorics, and geometry.  Students work with their peers in small groups and are guided by undergraduate mentors.  Classes are taught by university professors.

The Honors Summer Math Camp is an intensive six-week residential program on the university campus.  Sixty high school students from across Texas and the nation are recruited each summer.  Participants are taught by university faculty, mentored by undergraduate counselors, and share the joy of mathematics exploration with their peers.  Courses include Number Theory, Mathematica Lab, and Honors Seminar.  Weekends include guest speakers and field trips.  Students may attend for three consecutive summers, and returning participants have the opportunity to conduct research with math professors.

Camp scholarships are available to students who demonstrate financial need.  Mathworks' goal is to ensure that all admitted students can attend regardless of finances.

More information about Mathworks programs and online applications can be found at  Questions may be directed to the Mathworks office by phone, (512) 245-3439, or via e-mail at


Please share this information with your favorite student math whiz or history buff.  Texas students should know that learning is fun.