Jonathan, 10, and Ankur, 11, were among about 85 students from Jefferson and surrounding counties who participated in this year's Pepsi Summer Portfolio Institute at the University of Louisville last week.
The institute, which began about 13 years ago, is a place where students entering grades four through eight and teachers of elementary through high school classes creatively combine math and writing skills, often using technology that would intimidate the average adult.
The tech might, but I bet the math won't. Assuming there is any math, which there probably isn't.
In other classrooms, students and teachers used graphing calculators to visualize what happens as they time a bouncing ball, employed animation programs and storyboards to create Claymation movies, and used computers to work out story maps before composing reflective writing assignments.
Chanel Acklin, 9, hasn't started fourth grade at Jeffersontown Elementary yet, but she already knows how to use PowerPoint because of the institute. Her group took up-close photographs of themselves, combined them in a slideshow and had other students guess which photo was of which student, she said.
"That was pretty fun, but using the calculators is pretty hard because sometimes I forget things," Chanel said. "I'm glad I can do this though, because I'm pretty nervous about fourth grade and maybe since I've done it a little now, it won't be so bad."
See? No math. Just graphic calculators. And, the kids can't remember enough math to use them properly.