12 October 2021

Mathematics camps: A gift for gifted students?

Sarah Zaccagni and co-authors publish in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.

Sarah Zaccagni and co-authors (Ainoa Aparicio Fenoll and Flavia Coda Moscarola) evaluate the short-run impact of a mathematics camp for gifted high school students showing that students participating in the camp improve their problem-solving skills, especially in questions that require the use of logic.

They also find positive effects on students’ personality traits: students declare to be less neurotic and more extroverted. Gifted students with relatively lower school math scores benefit more from the program. And finally, the results show that participating in the mathematics camp makes students more willing to go to university.

During the camp, students work in teams, trying to solve advanced mathematical problems with the help of manipulatives. Sarah and co-authors have randomized participation in the camp and tested the effects of such participation on problem-solving skills, personality traits, and career intentions.

You can read the full research paper here