The project, Cosmic Math, is designed to use astronomy as a means of motivating students in learning geometry, algebra, trigonometry, earth and physical science concepts. The project began with a week-long workshop on the campus of SDSU offered during the summer 2010. During the week, teams of teachers were involved in inquiry-based activities focused on building models (space and shape concepts), collecting and analyzing data (manipulation of quantities) and sharing ideas for implementation of activities into the classroom. Teachers also developed skills with Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) classroom techniques which are at the core of SD Counts. The workshop is offered to physical science and mathematics teachers at both the Middle and High School level with the intent of building local partnerships in teaching math skills. Teachers are encouraged to develop projects that cross between their classrooms so that students see the connections between science and math in each class. Up to 3 hours of graduate credit is available in math or physics. Cosmic Math builds on the previously successful 4-year AstroMath program. Both projects have been fully funded through NCLB grants sponsored by the South Dakota Board of Regents.
Motivating Math through Science (M2S)
The Motivating Mathematics Through Science project is a workshop designed to help science and math teachers develop active learning environments. The project utilizes Vernier software and equipment and other hands-on materials to help mathematics and science teachers work together to teach students concepts in both subjects through inquiry-based science activities. These interdisciplinary activities involve math and science concepts such as: measurement, unit conversions, linear functions, proportionality, systems of equations, the square root function, quadratic functions, the distance formula, inverse functions, and exponential functions. These concepts are discovered in the context of physical science lab activities and other activities developed by the principal investigators. Teachers are encouraged to modify the activities as well as develop other activities so that students see the connections between science and algebra. Up to 3 hours of graduate credit is available in mathematics or physics. The first M2S workshop was help at SDSU in June 2010. This projects fully funded through NCLB grants sponsored by the South Dakota Board of Regents.