OC Math Magic January 2015 Gallery

OC Math Magic January 2015 Gallery

Enjoy this photo gallery from an event we sponsored on January 31, 2015 on location at our facilities called OC Math Magic! Students from kindergarten through middle school came to celebrate and learn more about mathematics with engaging activities and tricks of the trade!

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Winter Math Camp 2014 Gallery

Winter Math Camp 2014 Gallery

Some pictures from our Winter Math Boot Camp 2014, enjoy!




This past weekend, December 13-14, Areteem Institute held the Online ZIML Math Competition.




First Place- Akshaj Kadaveru (Virginia)


Second Place- Ajit Kadaveru (Virginia)


Third Place- Matthew Kroesche (Texas)


ZIML saw students from around the country competing  during the two day event. The top winner will be receiving prizes valued at over $100.


Online ZIML Math Competition is similar to the AMC and Math Counts competitions held  annually in February and March nationwide.  This summer, Areteem Institute’s 2015 Summer Camp Programs will be teaching many of the concepts and practices used by students competing in these various competitions. Our Summer Camp Programs will culminate with the Summer ZIML Math Competition.


Areteem Institute is proud of all those who took part in this exciting contest! We hope it has allowed first time competitors to see what math competitions look like and given seasoned competitors a chance to warm up for the 2015 season.


To find out more about our math programs you can check out the main Areteem Institute home page or the Math Zoom program website and subscribe to our news letter.


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‘Tis the Season: A Flurry of Winter Festivals and Traditions – Stave 3 (Santa and Contemporary Christmas!) – The End of It

‘Tis the Season: A Flurry of Winter Festivals and Traditions – Stave 3 (Santa and Contemporary Christmas!) – The End of It

Hello again readers and students of Areteem Institute, I saved the best for last in this holiday Christmas history blog: Santa!

St Nicholas of Myra

Santa Claus is believed to have been inspired by the real St. Nicholas who came from Myra, Lycia (now part of modern-day Turkey) in the 4th century CE. St. Nicholas came from a wealthy family and was a very religious man even at a young age, known for giving charitable gifts to the poor. He pursued the life of a clergyman and eventually became a bishop.

There are many legends that surround this historic figure. One claims that he helped three young girls without dowries one night by tossing gold in their stockings drying by the fire while the family was asleep, thus helping them to increase their chances of getting married. This is said to be the origin of hanging stockings near a chimney and why oranges were once put in stockings as symbols of the gold given by St. Nicholas. When he was finally canonized as a saint he became one of the most revered figures of his time and became a patron to children and sailors among many others.

 The veneration towards St. Nicholas spread throughout Europe where many countries such as Germany, Austria and the Netherlands still celebrate his feast day on December 6th when men dressed like him in red bishop robes (like the large picture above) go around their neighboring towns distributing gifts. He is sometimes accompanied by a demonic figure known by many names such as Black Peter, Belsnickel or Krampus who scares bad children with his chains, birch rods and utterly frightening appearance (please refer to the picture below of St. Nicholas and Krampus with the overly excited naughty child stuffed in the basket!).

With the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic St. Nicholas gave way to the figure of the Christ Child or Christkind, an angelic being who also distributed gifts to good children whose name is given to the famous “Christkindl” markets selling food, ornaments and wonderful seasonal fare all December long throughout Germany and even in parts of the United States. Later on when the Christkind traditions made it to the New World, his German name became Americanized into Kris Kringle which has now become synonymous with Santa Claus. Santa Claus/St. Nicholas also has many gift-giving cousins around the world at Christmas time from the Italian witch La Befana to the Three Wise Men who come on January 6th in Spain. (Check out the list of books at the end of the blog to read more about these elusive figures!)

St Nick and his buddy Krampus!

Long story short, Santa Claus has also amalgamated elements from the Norse god Odin who was known to fly at night on his eight-legged horse in the “Wild Hunt” with fellow spirits and gods to retrieve souls of the living. The “Wild Hunt” was most visible around wintertime throughout northern European countries with other colorful characters leading the way such as among others, King Arthur and Herne the Hunter in England and goddess figures like Mother or Frau Holle in Germany. The concept of Santa pulling a sleigh with eight reindeer may have come from this widespread belief in the “Wild Hunt”.

Santa Claus’ name derives from his Dutch incarnation as Sinterklaas, which is in fact a Dutch interpretation of the name “Saint Nicholas” and his jovial appearance has been equated with the British Father Christmas who makes an appearance as the green-robed Ghost of Christmas Present in “A Christmas Carol”. In England, Father Christmas was known under the guises of “Sir Christmas” or “Lord Christmas” before the 18th century as personifications of the Christmas season. Both the British and Dutch variations of Santa Claus eventually were brought to America where his appearance slowly took on the image we recognize today.

Odin riding his steed Sleipnir on a Norse artifact

Thomas Nast’s Santa

In 1823 the American author Clement C. Moore anonymously published his poem entitled “A Visit From St. Nicholas” which we lovingly know today as “The Night Before Christmas”. The short poem described St. Nicholas as a jolly elf-like figure associating him with the distribution of gifts and a flying sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, whose names have also become famous as a result (Rudolph came much later in 1939 as a promotional story for Montgomery Ward!).

For visuals, we have political cartoonist Thomas Nast with his series of 19th century drawings of Santa Claus as well as the proliferation of his image on 20th century Christmas Coca Cola advertisements. Over the past century he acquired his North Pole home and workshop, his company of elf workers (descendants of Yuletide Scandinavian household and nature spirits known as nisse and tomte, gift givers of Norway and Sweden in their own right), his wife Mrs. Claus and his annual magical journey on Christmas Eve through children’s literature, pictures, comic strips, songs, TV shows and films.

From the 20th century to our time now, the celebration of Christmas has expanded beyond America,  England and Europe to many countries and continents around the world. The past hundred years have seen a plethora of songs and movies that have honored the religious side of Jesus’ birth and overall winter festivities, showing the powerful impact that Christmas has had on us. Every year we can listen to radio stations playing songs like “A Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”. Children (and grown-ups too!) can also enjoy watching the Peanuts gang in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” as well as the famous Rankin/Bass cartoons and stop-motion films such as “Frosty the Snowman”, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” (all based on the lyrics of Christmas songs!). And families will take comfort in watching what we consider Christmas movie “classics” such as “White Christmas” from 1954, “It’s a Wonderful Life” from 1946 and “A Miracle on 34th Street” from 1947. And did you know that even some Christmas songs were created by Hollywood such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sung by Judy Garland in “Meet Me in St. Louis” from 1944!

And so on a happy note, we have arrived at journey’s end in our own time! As you share a meal together this holiday season like our ancient ancestors did, think about the Winter Solstice on December 21st and trim the house with evergreens to welcome winter spirits. You can  wait for Santa Claus (aka St. Nicholas) or maybe you might see the Wild Hunt fly on by (if you are lucky). See Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” ballet for the umpteenth time, go Christmas “caroling” with your friends like the British waits long ago, watch a choir of singers, go to a church service or enjoy seeing “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” (the cartoon or the live-action movie) as well as one of many film versions of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at home.

A Merry Christmas, a Happy Yule, Saturnalia, Sol Invictus, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and more to all, and to all a good night!


 Historical and Folklore Reading:

“Ceremonies of the Seasons” by Jennifer Cole

 “Medieval Holidays and Festivals: A Calendar of Celebrations” by Madeleine Pelner Cosman

 “The Christmas Almanac” by Natasha Tabori Fried

 “The Medieval Christmas” by Sophie Jackson

 “Christmas Past” by Barbara Kissinger

 “The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas” by John Matthews

 “A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition” by Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez

 “Yule: A Celebration of Light and Warmth” by Dorothy Morrison

 “Pagan Book of Days” by Nigel Pennick 

 “The Old Magic of Christmas: Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the Year” by Linda Raedisch

 “Pagan Christmas: The Plants, Spirits and Rituals at the Origins of Yuletide” by Christian Ratsch

 “Holidays and Celebrations in Colonial America” by Russell Roberts



 “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” by L. Frank Baum

 “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

 “The Autobiography of Santa Claus” by Jeff Guinn

 “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffman (The original story behind the ballet)

 “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and other Stories from the Sketch Book” by Washington Irving and Wayne Franklin (look for the five Old Christmas stories contained within)

More Websites to Check Out Beyond the Ones Linked in the Blog! 







Find out how you can be involved with Areteem Institute at our website, www.areteem.org!  

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Areteem Fall 2014 and Upcoming Winter 2015 Events!

Areteem Fall 2014 and Upcoming Winter 2015 Events!

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Areteem Institute has been busy with events this past fall and planning more this coming year!

Since starting the 2014-2015 school year, our new students and their families have been involved in a few activities in order for them to learn more about our programs and what we do. This month we are putting on a couple of our annual events that are sure to excite our more math-minded students through our Math Zoom program. Take a look to see what we have done and will be doing in 2014!


October 2014

-Areteem’s outreach team attended our second event with the OCPSA (Orange County Private School Association), an organization that connects K-12 private schools across Orange County, CA. On October 5th we set up “shop” at OCPSA’s “2nd Annual High School Fair” held on the campus of UC Irvine and talked with many local families about our programs and what we do. One of the eye-catching features of our booth was a robot created by one of our technology instructors that certainly brought more people our way to chat with us!


-On October 14th we hosted a “College Fair & Open House” webinar that brought together five admissions officers from some well-known public and private universities including UC Davis, Oberlin College, Emory University, Davidson College and Rice University. Several families were in attendance to learn more about college life at these campuses, student population numbers, popular “major” concentrations as well as admissions requirements, including some helpful advice on how to write personal statement essays. We look forward to more college information webinars next year as well!



December 2014

-This weekend on December 13th and 14th, we are holding our second Online ZIML Math Competition for all middle school and high school students interested in participating in upcoming math competitions next year. The format of the test is similar to the onsite ZIML competition hosted during our Summer Camp Programs for our math students. Students will be given problems that they will have to compete in 1 hour and the top 16 students will be awarded prizes!


-Over the winter holidays from December 26th-30th Areteem Institute’s Math Zoom program will be hosting its annual “Winter Math Boot Camp” at our onsite Irvine location which packs in many students from later elementary through high school! Over five days, students will be involved in many fun activities with their peers, helping them learn new material and improve their critical thinking skills.  Students come to either work on their math problem solving or specifically to prepare for a certain math competition like the AMC 10 and 12 as well as MathCounts which all take place in February 2015. We usually see students from all across the country coming to California for this event which features only just a bit of what students can experience during our Summer Camp Programs! We are still enrolling until December 19th


For the new year, we are participating in a few new activities to get students involved in math, science and humanities including our Summer Camp Programs! See what is coming up in 2015!


January 2015

Once again at the beginning of the year, we open up Early Registration for our Summer Camp Programs! This year our camps have grown to encompass all subjects in math, science, humanities and 2 new career-based tracks. They are open to all middle school and high school students anywhere from around California, the US and even internationally! EVERYONE is WELCOME whether they are students of Areteem or not! Our camps will be held on the university campuses of UCLA, the University of Chicago and Boston College for two to three weeks from June to August where students will be involved in a variety of activities from classes and “funshops” to fields trips around LA, Chicago and Boston! Call or email us to find out more come January!


For our math and science-focused students, we are offering three FREE “preseason” events before the heat of the competition season is on! On January 10th we will be hosting a “MathCounts Training” webinar with Dr. Kevin Wang for students who want to excel from chapter to state to national MathCounts and a “Physics Olympiad F=ma exam Training” webinar with Dr. Darin Ragozzine for the upcoming Physics Olympiad! Dr. Wang will be back on January 17th to host a webinar on “AMC 10/12 Training”. Check back on the Areteem website to see what times the webinars will take place.


Then on January 31st in Irvine, CA we are sponsoring a larger onsite event called OC Math Magic” open to all K-12 students with the non-profit ZEFR group (Go to their website to find out more and save a spot for the OC Math Magic event). This event will bring together math coaches and people knowledgeable about the various math competitions from all around Orange County, we look forward to seeing many people there!



March 2015

We are then topping off all of these events with our massive OC Math & Science Festival, the first of its kind, that we are sponsoring again with the ZEFR group. This free event is for all K-12 students and their families who love and want to further grow a passion for STEM subjects. Parents will be able to talk with professionals from various organizations while students can anticipate a day full of great events and activities such as hands-on tech sessions making their own robots, fun mini math contests and more! We are also looking forward to having a few guest speakers present on the importance of STEM in education today. You can go to the ZEFR website to learn more about the festival and reserve a space for you and your family!


Tune in for more updates and events by checking out our Areteem and Math Zoom websites. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram!


2014-2015 Areteem Institute Class Line-Up!

2014-2015 Areteem Institute Class Line-Up!

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Areteem Institute

(Transforming Education for a Global Community)





Hello Prospective Middle School and High School Students and Families,


Are you tired of the usual, mundane classes in school that aren’t helping you with your education? The same routine day in and day out? Are you looking for something more academically challenging, engaging or better yet-  in tune with the 21st century way of living?!


Look no further, as we can be the right choice for you!


We here at Areteem Institute – Home of Math Zoom strive to give you what you want-


1.  A more well-rounded education with all subjects you want to take (Math, Science, Humanities)

2. Taught by an esteemed faculty all with advanced college-level degrees

3. That can be taken anywhere that you are!


Beyond the onsite classes we teach at our Irvine, CA location and to local school districts in Math, Science and Technology, all you need for the majority of our classes including the Humanities is an Internet connection and you are set! Who says that there is no communication in a virtual or online school?  Our classes are highly interactive, where students are able to communicate with both their peers and their professors in real-time in a group and one-on-one as if you were sitting right beside them.


Students will be able to use a chat box option to keep up to date with each other, have access to a fully functioning virtual whiteboard where they and their professors can write out problems and come to solutions together as well as be able to see, hear and talk with each other through the use of a web camera and their personal headphones and a microphone. Plus you can go anywhere to take these classes, a luxury that cannot be afforded in a brick-and-mortar school. Here is a full class list of what we are offering this Winter 2014-2015!


New to the online setting? Check out a brief overview of our online class setup by clicking here. If you wish to see what a virtual class looks like click here to be directed to our video gallery to view a section of one our Humanities courses. Just scroll to the very bottom of the page to find Ms. Carly Hunter teaching one of our Social Science classes to see what an online class actually looks like.


This school year 2014-2015 don’t miss out on a chance to enroll in one of our many exciting courses*! Since the school was founded back in 2004 we have focused on providing students who love Mathematics and Science with a more thorough curriculum and have now expanded within the past couple of years to include  the Humanities (including English Literature and History) and more subjects as well!


Our flagship Math Zoom curriculum including the Math Challenge and Physics Challenge series is what we are known for. These courses will leave you with the satisfaction that you have learned and retained new knowledge in a way that is easily accessible, exploring new horizons in subjects ranging from Algebra, Geometry, Combinatorics and Number Theory for our Math courses and Electricity, Magnetism, Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Molecular Physics in our Physics classes.*


Not only have these  classes helped students to excel in these chosen subjects but they have also helped students to compete in various math and science competitions such as MathCounts, AMC 8,10,12, AIME, ARML and the Math and Physics Olympiads to name a few, even a visit with the President Obama! This is greatly in part due to our faculty of college professors including our academic director Dr. Kevin Wang as well as Dr. Darin Ragozzine, both of which have helped to design our Math Challenge and Physics Challenge curriculum over the past several years. Click here to view more of our faculty page.*


We also offer Self-Paced classes as well for students who are focused and want to take some initiative in their education. These classes are intended for a whole school year.*


*If  you are interested please take a look at our course description page by clicking HERE to get a better idea of what kinds of classes (onsite, online and Self-Paced) that we teach here at Areteem Institute.


For more information about our programs, including our summer and winter camps, Teacher Training Institute and academic competitions you can check out our main Areteem website (www.areteem.org).

To speak with one of our student service specialists please call us at: 949-679-8989 or our toll free number: 866-688-6284.


If you wish to leave us a brief message you can email us at at Areteem Institute (info@areteem.org) or through the Math Zoom program (staff@mathzoom.org) as well as follow us on Facebook , Twitter , LinkedIn, Instagram or YouTube for updates on future events and happenings!


Thank you and we hope you choose Areteem Institute – Home of Math Zoom for this school year!


The Staff Here at Areteem Institute and the Math Zoom program!