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MPATE celebrates 25th anniversary

The Morehead State University Department of Mathematics and Physics hosted its 25th annual Mathematics, Physics, and Advanced Technology Exploration (MPATE) Day Wednesday, Nov. 7, where students explored what the department offers.

About 400 high school students from the local area competed in a variety of activities that highlighted the department during MPATE Day. 

During the event, faculty and student volunteers ran competitive activities for students to compete for prizes. Students worked in teams with peers from other schools to compete in STEM-related activities. Each activity had six teams competing for four rounds. At the end, the scores were tallied to see which team won. The top teams chose from a variety of prizes that included graphing calculators that were donated by Texas Instrument and $1,000 in products from the University Store.

“We divide them up into teams of four students and these four students don’t know each other because they’re all from different schools.” said Dr. Tim O’Brien, MPATE Day coordinator and professor of mathematics. “So, we try to get them to meet some new people.”

 O’Brien said the purpose of the event is to show students interested in STEM fields that it is a useful skill and is worth something. 

“In high school I feel like athletics is often celebrated, well I think here’s a chance for us to celebrate kids that are more academic.” said O'Brien. 

O’Brien, who has hosted the event for 14 years with the help of academic department specialist for the department Denise Patrick as well as other faculty, said his favorite part is seeing the activities that the faculty come up with. 

“The physicists have this activity where they put the kids on a rotating reference frame and they try to shoot baskets while they’re spinning.”

For more information on MPATE Day 2018, visit or call 606-783-2930. Visit for additional information about the Department of Mathematics and Physics.

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