A Good Time Was Had By All at the LA Math Field Day 2015

A Good Time Was Had By All at the LA Math Field Day 2015

For the 400 plus participants who made the trek to Glendale on Saturday April 25th, to compete in the 2015 LACOE Math Field Day, the day was a huge success. After the stress of the morning sessions the students were treated to some educational fun and games thanks to the hard work of the Areteem Institute and the dozens of volunteers who put on the Second Annual STEM Festival.

STEM subjects were presented to students in a variety of fun new ways.






Like the Cooking Demonstration put on by real Chefs.





Or the a Space and Robotics demonstration where the students got up close and personal with robots that could one day roam the surface of Mars.


All told the students were treated to nearly a dozen exhibits proving that STEM can be FUN!

If you want to experience what a STEM festival is like, check out the OC Math Field Day later this month as Areteem takes learning on the road on more time! AND if you want a truly immersive experience our STEM based Summer Camps still have openings. Go to www.ARETEEM.org for more details.

What Makes for a Successful Science Fair Exhibit?

What Makes for a Successful Science Fair Exhibit?

A behind-the-scenes look at what Judges deem important, as demonstrated at the L.A. Science Fair

LA Science Fair JudgeWith hundreds of exhibits from middle school & high school students it may be difficult to stand out amongst the innovative and visual displays at the 2015 L.A. Science and Engineering Fair. We have some insider recommendations from Areteem Institute’s own Director Ms. Kelly Ren, who was chosen as a Judge/Chair for Physics in the Junior division. “It takes more than a good presentation or idea to impress the judges. If a student is aiming for top awards there are first some basic guidelines to follow.” Ms. Kelly Ren explains that the judging is based on an average score derived from the following categories: Creativity (30 points), Scientific Thought OR Engineering Goals (30 points), Thoroughness (15 points), Skill (15 points), and Clarity (10 points). It’s easy for judges to see which students have actually learned from their projects and this is the prime goal and basis for success. Did the students take the time to actually understand their subject matter? Did they conduct the proper experiments to assess the issue or hypothesis? And most important, are the results accurate and clear?

Ms. Kelly Ren notes that “about 20-25% of participants actually get awarded, and these top performers usually have an original idea that the students have thoroughly understood and demonstrated in a professional manner to be correct and interesting.” In the junior physics category there were 39 projects entered with 1 1st place, 1 2nd place, 1 3rd place and 9 honorable mentions. The top awards for this event went to some very innovative and interesting exhibits, like: The Visualization of Sound, a presentation that uniquely showed how complex sound waves actually look, using sand spread patterns and even propane fueled flames that visually depict the sound waves. One other impressive exhibit was the Roller Coaster G’s, where a student not only passionately rode numerous roller coasters to gather data but took the time to explore the actual science behind the experiences.

Then there are the little things. Ms. Kelly Ren indicated that “although some presenters had a good exhibit, with solid supporting documentation, they could have gotten better scores by paying more attention to the little details, the simple things”. Many students have worked for months on their presentations and could have given better impressions by having a firm handshake or being professionally dressed. One thing that is hard to be taught but is probably the most important, in science fair exhibitions or even academic life in general, is to have a passion for the subject matter. Ms. Kelly Ren emphasizes “Know your subject matter and enjoy the experience of learning – success will follow”.

Junior Science Fair Winners

Visit the L.A. Science Fair Gallery

L.A. Science Fair March 2015 Gallery

L.A. Science Fair March 2015 Gallery

Dr. A.R. Teem’s Carnival of STEAM-antics goes under the Big Top for the first time!

This past weekend, March 27th and 28th, 2015 Areteem Institute was thrilled to be a part of our first Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair! As an exhibitor we premiered our wonderful “Dr. A.R. Teem’s Carnival of STEAM-antics” interactive booth, complete with four “attractions” under a “Big Top” tent and our colorful costumed staff acting as different carnival performers! Students, parents and even educators came by to check out the “side shows” and other activities that were going on, including asking us about our three summer camp locations at UCLA, Boston College and the University of Chicago with camp brochures on hand to pass out to people. Each of the different attractions in fact represented particular aspects of our academic tracks at the summer camps with a focus on our subjects in science, technology, engineering and science fiction. Greeting people as they walked by our exhibit was our large K’nex roller coaster kit for students to try out as well as a large LCD screen to show students how our roller coaster software works. Students were asked how roller coasters function as well as shown demonstrations on how to use the software to design their own coaster tracks by our “roller coaster ride operator”. Next students played around in our futuristic robot world where the “Steampunk robot engineer” taught students how our motion-sensitive Lego MINDSTORMS robots. For our two “side shows” students were taken on a tour through OZ by one of its “citizens’ or “the Wizard of OZ” himself where they engaged in scientific experiments showcasing different aspects of nature and weather such as how a hot air balloon rises into the sky, how tornados form and how many colors are in a rainbow. Lastly, students ventured into the darkest part of our Big Top to help “Dr. Frankenstein” perform electrical experiments in his laboratory. Students were able to crank up his AC/DC generator as well as sparked life into a plasma ball to create electricity, learning about real-life inventors such as Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla from the 19th century.
Overall, we had a fun time and were able to speak with so many great students who were presenting their projects at the fair. We also met with a few of the other exhibitors who also came from a variety of backgrounds including SpaceX, NASA, the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, the Southwestern Herpetologists Society with their snakes and lizards on display, students from California State Los Angeles (CSULA)’s Eco Car 3 project, Deezmaker 3D Printers and Hackerspace, UCode: K-12 Coding Classes, the Orangutan Conservancy and the Planetary Society.
We hope to come back for another year as the carnival travels on to future events with Dr. A.R. Teem leading the way! Who knows, maybe the Big Top will come to your area soon! Check out our photo gallery to see where all the action was this past weekend, enjoy!

For anyone interested in having our carnival come to their next event, especially when in involves STEAM subjects for K-12 students, please let us know by phone at (949) 679-8989 or emailing us at info@areteem.org.

Enjoy the gallery below!


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OC Science Olympiad February 2015 Gallery

OC Science Olympiad February 2015 Gallery

A small gallery of images from the OC Science Olympiad that we helped to sponsor on February 14, 2015 on the campus of UC Irvine. This was one of California’s regional Science Olympiads close to our facilities. The Science Olympiad is broken up into regional, state and national competitions for students who are keen learners of science and technology where they get to spend a day displaying their projects they have been working on for months in around 40 different categories. Take a look at the some of the pictures we took of our booth and around UCI where all of the students “camped out” throughout the day in-between competitions to rest and get some snacks!

Math Counts Tips

Math Counts Tips

test-taking-strategies Top 15 Test-Taking Tips, Suggestions & Strategies

  • Get a good night’s sleep, and eat a good breakfast. Eat protein that morning-for the brain benefits.
  • When feeling anxious, take 5 deep breaths every once in a while.
  • Plan fun socialization after the test.
  • Bring water.
  • Bring candies that enhance brain awareness, such as mints, lemon drops, and dark chocolate. 
  • When faced with a reading passage, read the questions first and then read the passage.
  • Listen carefully to directions: Make a point to listen closely to any test directions that are read aloud.
  • Read through written directions at least twice before starting on a test section to ensure that you do not misinterpret them
  • Perform a ‘brain dump’. At the start of the test, write down on a sheet of scrap paper any facts or key information that you are afraid that you might forget. This ‘brain dump’ will help you to feel less anxious about forgetting important information.
  • Skip difficult items until last. On timed tests, you should avoid getting bogged down on difficult items that can cause you to use up all of your time. Instead, when you find yourself stumped on a tough test item, skip it and go on to other problems. After you have finished all of the easiest test items, you can return to any skipped questions and try to answer them.
  • If you finish a test early, use the remaining time to check your answers.
  • Create Mnemonics or silly sayings to memorize: Example: Long Division Dad-divide Mother -multiply Sister -subtract Brother -bring down Sometimes Rover -sometimes remainder
  • When skipping questions box the number and go back later.
  • Cover up the answers and see if you can answer the question on your own first.
  • Use a hi-lighter to highlight KEY words in the directions. Verbs and descriptive words that follow the verb are usually important key words.


 Form of answers:

  • All answers must be expressed in simplest form.
  • Ratios should be expressed as simplified common fractions.
  • Radicals must be simplified.
  • Answers to problems asking for a response in the form of a dollar amount should be expressed in the form ($) a.bc, where “a” is an integer and “b” and “c” are digits.
  • Units of measurement are not required in answers, but they must be correct if given.
  • Do not make approximations for numbers.
  • Do not do any intermediate rounding.
  • Scientific notation should be expressed in the form a x 10n where “a” is a decimal and “n” is an integer.
  • An answer expressed to a greater or lesser degree of accuracy than called for in the problem will not be accepted.
  • The plural form of the units will always be provided in the answer blank, even if the answer appears to require the singular form of the units.


Sprint Round

  • 30 Problems
  • 40 Minute Time Limit
  • NO Calculators, Books or Other Aids

Target Round

  • 8 Problems presented in Pairs
  • 6 Minute time limit per Pair
  • Calculators and Scratch Paper are acceptable but no other aids

 Team Round

  • 10 Problems
  • 20 Minute Time Limit

 And above all…GOOD LUCK!



AMC Math Contest

AMC Math Contest

Attention Gifted Math Students:

Areteem Institute is a proud sponsor of the American Mathematics Contests.  Our director Dr. Kevin Wang is on the AMC Advisory Board. Our professor Dr. Harold Reiter is the former AMC director for many years. He is the current chair of the Sliff Teachers’s Award Committee. Our professors also write problems for AMC to be used in future tests. For our students, we administer the AMC 8, 10/12 and subsequent competitions AIME, USAMO. We prepare students for the rigorous mathematical contemplation that the test requires, and we delivered outstanding results. Our MC-II, MC-III, and MC-IV courses provide training for AMC10/12 and beyond. These content are covered extensively in the summer camp curriculum. Areteem Institute works with students to improve their math flexibility.  Our goal is to have students take their knowledge to further heights.  As a student becomes more aware of deeper mathematical creativity they will be more relaxed and more confident when working on math competitions.  And this confidence will carry over into all aspects of their lives.

The American Mathematical Competitions have their origins in 1950 when a committee in New York tentatively wrote a competition for high school students.  From that modest beginning the AMC has grown into a world wide competition involving over 400,000 students in over 5,000 schools in several countries beside the USA.  We are always looking to the future to expand and bring more students into the competitions.  Our goal is not simply find the best students but rather involve all students because any student who can solve just one problem in the competition has made a great achievement in his/her life.

Of course the American Mathematical Competitions are a precursor to the International Math Olympiad, but any student who participates in the AMC is a winner, because the problems in the AMC are not simple homework problems.  The problems require mathematical understanding and the ability to be flexible and pursue a train of thought that leads to further insight.  Usually the AMC problems never have a one-step solution.  The problems require sound mathematical understanding and a keen insight to seek out the solution.  Nonetheless if students simply let themselves become involved in the problem they can find the insight needed within themselves.  The problems are written with that goal in mind.  We do not write problems that are so terribly hard no one can solve them.  Rather we take an idea that we expect students to have mastered and twist it a little bit to make it challenging.  And we consider all levels of mastery to pull our problems from so that students at any level will be able to participate.  We expect most all students to be able to solve the first 5 problems and then the problems progress harder from there in groups of five with the last five being the hardest, maybe only 1% of the students can solve those problems.

AMC 8 – The AMC 8 is a 25 question, 40 minute multiple choice examination in middle school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem solving skills. The examination provides an opportunity to apply the concepts taught at the middle school level to problems which not only range from easy to difficult but also cover a wide range of applications. Many problems are designed to challenge students and to offer problem solving experiences beyond those provided in most middle school mathematics classes. AMC 10/12 – The AMC 10 and AMC12 are 25 question, 75 minute multiple choice examinations in secondary school mathematics containing problems which can be understood and solved with pre-calculus concepts. The main purpose of the AMC 10/12 is to create interest in mathematics and to develop talent through the excitement of solving challenging problems in a timed multiple-choice format. A special purpose of the AMC 10/12 is to help identify those few students with truly exceptional mathematics talent. Students who are among the very best deserve some indication of how they stand relative to other students in the country and around the world . The AMC 10/12 provides one such indication, and it is the first in a series of examinations. In this way the very best young mathematicians are recognized, encouraged and developed.

Areteem is working with Math Zoom Academy to offer the AMC 8 contest in Irvine, California.  AMC 8 is an annual national math competition for students in 8th grade or under.  It has 25 multiple choice questions, with a time limit of 40 minutes.  All students up to 8th grade are encouraged to participate.

The contest date is Tuesday Nov. 19, 2013.  The location is at the Headquarters of Areteem Institute: 4850 Barranca Pkwy, #203, Irvine, CA 92604.  The contest will start at 7pm and end at 7:40pm.  Participation is free of charge.

To register for the contest, please contact Areteem Institute at (949) 679-8989, or send email to info@areteem.org.  Spots are limited, so please register early.