The Ekal Online Math Workshop, led by Karthik Seetharaman and Kathir Meyyappan, just finished its inaugural run on Sunday, May 24, 2020. There were about 80 registrants from all over the country, and even a few students from the United Kingdom and India. Truly international in flavor! Although the workshop was free, a donation of $10 was suggested. The event raised almost $500, enough money to support more than one Ekal school for a year or digitally equip one Ekal school with five tablets.
The workshop consisted of four classes spread over two weeks. The classes covered algebra, number theory, combinatorics, and geometry in both introductory and advanced levels. The advanced session covered topics such as quadratics, coordinates, modular arithmetic, and geometric probability, while the intro session covered topics such as area, volume, basic probability, linear equations, and divisibility.
Classes were conducted over Zoom from 7 to 8:30 PM EDT on four separate days. Sessions were interactive, with time for open problem solving after the lesson. Before each lesson, younger students were given a diagnostic test to determine their placement in the intro or advanced session.
Although the two teachers could not interact in person with the students, they were still able to engage very well with them. When asked about interest in another session, the children were very enthusiastic about the prospect. The two boys found enormous success in this campaign, and hope to conduct more events like this to extend the reach of mathematics education in the current climate. Both boys said to expect more virtual math events in the future.