Detailed Session Descriptions
of SB Family School's
Math Camps


Learn the math behind the tricks, then perform in a magic show.

Become a mathemagician! Not all magic tricks require sleight of hand – some are based on science and math. Mathematical magic tricks will be demonstrated and then we'll investigate the math behind them. Campers will learn to perform the tricks, and practice them on each other. On Friday, parents & siblings are invited to come at 11:15 for a magic show performance. The areas of math we'll explore include arithmetic, number bases, algebra, topology, and probability. Campers should be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers, and understand fractions.
The advanced session will involve new tricks with more sophisticated mathematical concepts.

The Art of Math & the Math of Art

Create and investigate 2-D and 3-D mathematical art.

Create drawings and sculptures in 2 and 3 dimensions – tessellations, unit origami, fractals, etc. In the process, we'll explore the mathematical ideas behind them: angles, 3-D geometry, topology, symmetry, number bases, infinity, etc. We'll also examine some works of mathematical artists, such as M.C. Escher & Leonardo da Vinci. Campers should be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers and fractions. More advanced students will be exposed to more advanced mathematical ideas.

Special Topics Sessions:

Santa Barbara Surf-aces will explore many topics related to surfaces - curvature, tessellations, map coloring, minimal surfaces. There will be a short local field trip on Tuesday.

The Golden Ratio will focus on the nature-related topics of Fibonacci sequences and the golden ratio.


Break the code!

Become a spy or detective! Campers will encounter many different codes and ciphers, and techniques for decoding and deciphering. We’ll construct some coding devices, exchange secret messages, and engage in mathematical analysis. Most of the areas of mathematics involved – number theory (prime numbers and modular arithmetic), matrices, angles, frequency distributions – require only whole number arithmetic skills.

Money Matter$
“Those who understand ex are lenders; those who don’t are borrowers”

Exponentials and logarithms are extermely important and non-intuitive subjects that students generally don't encounter in math classes until Algebra II, but which can be understood conceptually, with a hands-on approach, much earlier. As the quote indicates, an understanding of interest can promote savings and prevent a lifestyle of debt. In addition to its practical value, this camp wil be fun - we'll play games, including both Cash Flow 101 and Cash Flow 202, do puzzles, and create related crafts projects.

The Math f Sprts & the Sprt f Math


In addition to hands-on exploration of sports-related mathematical topics – such as dynamics of ball trajectories, scoring & tournaments, and interpretation of statistics – there will be mathletics events – such as relay races and dart games. And during the mid-morning snack break, we'll play table tennis, which is a favorite sport among mathematicians.

Game Design

Play and analyze games, then make your own.

In the process of playing and analyzing a variety of games, we'll study some of the principles of game design, with the goal of each camper creating his or her own game by the end of the week. The areas of math investigated include probability and game theory. Note that although the ideas are applicable to video games, the orientation of the camp is non-electronic. May include visits from professional game designers.

Infinity & Beyond

Recommended for Grades 7-10

The concept of infinity is both intriguing and accessible to kids way before they encounter it in a calculus class. We'll play with sequences and sets, fractals, different types of infinity, and more. Although this is the most theoretical camp, it will also include related games and art projects. In consideration of the cost of storage space in Santa Barbara, we promise that your child will bring home only a finite number of finite-dimensional projects. Campers should be able to easily add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers, fractions and decimals, and be infinitely curious.

Prime Time

Recommended for Grades 3-7

The concept of prime decomposition is the most important concept of elementary school mathematics. Its mastery is the best preparation for junior and senior high school mathematics. In this camp, students will become very familiar with it and related concepts about factors, mainly through playing games.
More advanced students will learn about more esoteric topics, such as prime distribution, prime generation, and specific types of primes. Hands-on activities are of course included. Campers should understand the concept of multiplication but need not have memorized the multiplication table.


New in 2015!

The Star of David symbol, also known as a regular hexagram, has been used by a variety of cultures in the past millennia and, in this camp, will be used as a portal into a variety of topics. Its geometry leads to fascinating constructions, tessellations, and even fractals. Hands-on projects include origami as well as puzzles and games. Related mathematical topics, such as calendars and braids, may be included.


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