
Re: Semester Projects
Posted:
Feb 5, 1995 1:15 PM


I have used projects in my classes for a long time, but I have not taught geometry, only algebra and/or trig, precalculus. But I think that the kind of projects I do could be used at any level of math. 1. Have each student ( or a group if you prefer) do a project on a mathematician  to include a report with bibliography , perhaps a poster to "advertise" what the mathematician has done, a bulletin board, etc. You will find out how many of our students write!
2. Have each student ( or group) do research on the origins of a mathematical topic, for geometry this could be pi, conic sections, area formulas, volumes, triangles, trig functions, etc. There are some very good WWW sites on history of math which can be used for either 1 or 2.
3. Another topic for research is careers and how they involve math. I require a report on the careers, i.e. what is it, what educational background to get into the field, salaries, etc. Again this is to get the student to write and to think about their future.
4. There are books now giving simple experiments in math I have assigned these to groups to do and to write up the results. I had my trig students do one about sprials using a record player and cardboard. It could be done by geometry students as well. Students learned a lot and liked it.
5. My favorite project is a class one to make a museum of mathematics. I modeled this after the exhibit in the Museum of Science in Boston. Groups make an exhibit to display different concepts about math, either learned or new. The exhibit can include the historical background of the item, how it is used in the real world, etc. Some of the exhibits can be hands on experiments. I have never tried this, but I have thought about organizing a museum in the math dept. where each teacher and/or class would take a different area of math and make exhibits on them and have a giant math museum.
6. For my algebra II classes we looked at a problem I made up and groups came up with solutions. The problem was to design a seating chart for my room which has 6 columns and five rows, whereby no one sits by anyone they are currently sitting by. They write up an algorithm to move students then perform the algorithm 5 times. Sort of a fractal seating chart. If interested I could send more details on this one.
Hope these help.. As you can tell I do not have access to computers for these classes.
Barb Bjornstad Sierra Vista, AZ barbbj@primenet.com
On Sun, 5 Feb 1995 SFOLEY@carleton.edu wrote:
> I am new to this conference as well as the teaching profession. A fellow first > year geometry teacher and I are looking for semester projects for our classes. > We teach "regular" geometry, mostly to 10th and 11th graders. Ideally, the > project would allow students to work individually or perhaps in small groups > over the last part of the semester with some individual choice available. > We do have Sketchpad available, but it has > not been used extensively so far. Anything with a multicultural emphasis would > be especially appreciated. You can respond directly to me if you wish: > > sfoley@carleton.edu > > Thank you in advance. > > Sean Foley > Bloomington Jefferson High School > Bloomington, MN > >

