June 2006, Volume6, Issue 4

Math Projects and Relevant Activities

How does our adult population learn math differently from students who thrive or have thrived in schools? Try projects, of any size, type or shape. Try games and short activities. Projects don't have to be complicated. They can take 10 minutes or 10 days. How much time does your learner have and what is the expected attention span? Short, I know.

Projects can be as simple as...

  • Count your steps from here to there and compare your totals to others in your group. Measure your stride in inches and centimeters. What is the difference in strides between different people? Express that in percentages, decimals and fractions.
  • Measure someone's heart rate or pressure. Who's healthier and why?
  • Estimate how many quills cover a porcupine, or how many hairs cover a spider, or how many feathers cover a bald eagle. Compare estimates. Who or what group comes closest? Calculate the average and mean from the results. (From last year's Rendezvous)

You get the idea. The Web is full of project ideas. Following are some you may want to consider. If you lose this issue, go to http://www.coloradoadulted.org/ and find it listed in the next week or so.

General Activity Resources

The Vocational Information Center has links into limitless information and projects/activities for students who wish to explore careers, occupations, or simply access practice in related academic skills. Be sure to explore the links that match your focus. Go to http://www.khake.com/ and be amazed by the doors that open.

Another vast portal into workplace math projects is the Math Forum, http://mathforum.org . For example,  you'll find links to Algebra for Athletes.com,  BTU Calculator - HearthNet, Exactly How Is Math Used In Technology? - Mathematics Dept., British Columbia Institute of Technology, Hamilton's Math to Build On - Johnny & Margaret Hamilton , and much more.

http://www.cord.org/example_lessons-and-activities19507/ - CORD (Center for Occupational Research and Development) produces excellent Tech Prep curricula. Much of their materials are written at 6th-grade reading levels. They are designed to provide students with context and projects that relate to their lives. The link above will take you to sample lessons that you can apply right away. The free examples they give you of their materials can be downloaded and used. It's free. Why not?

http://www.cew.wisc.edu/mathNet/ - Math Net: Integrating Mathematics and Education-For-Work:A National Network for Improving Teaching, Education, and Learning. Curriculum units Sampler at http://www.cew.wisc.edu/mathNet/Curriculum%20Units/curriculum_samplers.htm

http://www.exploratorium.edu/ - Loads of links to understanding science through different media: the science of hockey, the science of music, and more.

Electronics Activities

http://www.1728.com/indexfun.htm -Find two electricity tutorials and math games, followed by application with wiring an electric guitar!

http://www.botsandbytes.com/ - Bots and Bytes - Build robots, and find out about electrical and mechanical elements.

http://amasci.com/static/electrostatic2.html  - Billb's HV/Electrostatic Build-it Projects:

Mechanics Activities

http://www.wsavts.org/automechanics/battery.htm - Change a battery: steps and video.

Welding Activities

http://www.cew.wisc.edu/mathNet/Curriculum%20Units/Samplers/MathWeld.htm - Fabricate a toolbox from sheet metal as motivation for reading a rule and measurement within tolerances.

Plumbing Activities

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/pluminfo.html General info, abbreviations and math for plumbing

Electronics Activities - http://www.ke4nyv.com/math.htm

Math for Health Activities

http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/mathline/concepts/health.shtm "These mathematics activities focus on 1) assessing the nutritional value of fast food, 2) analyzing the numbers associated with our heart, and 3) looking at how medicines affect our bodies over time. Hope you are fit and ready to exercise your brain on these activities."

General Applied Math Activities

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/copubs/ag/crops/forages/008/ - Tips on Selling and Purchasing Hay, with conversion formulas

http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/secret_teachings_of_all_ages/pythagorean_theory_of_music_and_color.htm - The URL says it all

Science and Mathematics Initiative for Learning Enhancement - http://www.iit.edu/~smile/

MathTools Technology Problem - Check out one project, Pattern Blocks, among other math tools on the site -  (from http://mathforum.org )

Sports Math Activities

http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/  - The science of baseball. Much fun.

http://www.sidwell.edu/academics/lower_school/LS_Math_Adventures/sports.htm - Have fun solving problems students have written about their favorite sports!

Other Activities

The East Valley Tech Prep site: Scroll down to the links listed and enjoy. http://evtpc.org/tutor/pages/resources.html

http://www.isinj.com/objectives_workplacemath.html - List of workplace skills for math in different careers. Once you know the skills, create the project.

http://www.crec.org/atdn/workplace/ - Capitol Region Education site. "The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, promotes learning that helps adults obtain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed on the job, pursue career advancement, and adapt to continuous change in the workplace. " This site has a number of suggested links including several with teacher resources for workforce development.

http://www.workplacebasicskills.com/non_frame/workplace_skills/workplace_basic_skills.htm - Workplace skills list.

http://www.readiowa.org/workplacemath/contents.html - A whole curriculum on workplace math with worksheets and assessments that you can download for free.

http://www.micron.com/k12/lessonplans/index.html - These lessons reflect Micron's commitment to science education in grades K-12 and are aligned with National Science Standards.

http://www.micron.com/k12/math/numop/ - Math in the Workplace, Numbers & Operations - Problems developed by reps in different companies. Also from Micron

We are building resources that are specific to different occupations. Please help us by sending us your favorite sites.

Going, Going...

Haven't signed up at http://www.ccconline.org/ for EDU classes? June 1st is your last day to do so. Help your colleagues get to know you online this summer. Don't put it off. Model learning to your students!

CONTACT ME: leecy@swadulted.com