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Topic: help w/modelling-animal population project
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Annie Fetter

Posts: 524
Registered: 12/3/04
help w/modelling-animal population project
Posted: Jun 14, 1996 1:48 AM
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We invite you to become part of an online working group associated with the
Math Forum's resource development institute, scheduled for July 14-19 at
Swarthmore College. This conference is an invitational program for
pioneering K-12 mathematics teachers who are experienced in
telecomunications and the use of computers in the classroom. A group of 13
participants will be working onsite with the latest tools, developing
resources and projects that will enhance the usefulness and accessibility
of the Internet for math education. You will be able to read more about the
institute and the participants at

One likely project is involves "Modelling and Statistical Analysis of
Animal Populations". Peter Moulds <> will be
working onsite on this project. He sketched the following ideas in his

"Aims for Students

1. Understand how mathematical models can be used to represent a situation.
2. Be able to form a mathematical model of a life related situation.
3. Derive and interpret results from consideration of a mathematical model.
4. Explore strengths and weaknesses of a mathematical model.
5. Develop a set of procedures to be used in approaching modelling problems.
6. Develop a range of statistical concepts.
7. Use a range of problem solving skills.
8. Enhance the communication skills of mathematics results in a variety of
9. Develop logical arguments expressed in everyday language, mathematical
language and a combination of both to support conclusions.
10. Motivate students in the use of computer technology.
11. Development of multidisciplinary links between Mathematics, Geography,
History and Science.

"Aims for Teachers

1. Assist in the incorporation of technology into mathematics curricula.
2. Assist in the transformation of mathematics curricula into a more
contextual basis.
3. Development of links between teachers and schools.

Throughout Australia there is a great deal of research and debate regarding
different species of animals and in particular human society's impact on
these animal populations. For example, The Great Barrier Marine Park
Authority in conjunction with the University of Queensland are completing a
number of studies regarding the Crown of Thorns starfish and the effect they
are having on the Great Barrier Reef; James Cook University in conjunction
with the National Parks and Wildlife service have been studying Green and
Loggerhead Turtle Populations ( a study in which some of my Year 11
Mathematics student will be participating in in January); and the C.S.I.R.O.
are studying a number of case studies looking at Koala populations.

"The steps in this project would include:
1. Use of video conferencing using CuSeeMe on the internet establishing
links between schools with students from elsewhere in the world being able
to discuss with students from Australia some of the problems involving
different animal populations - e.g. Deaths of Turtles in Prawn Netting,
Koala Populations and enclosed Habitats.
2. Through links with various institutions collection of a variety of data.
3. From the data, development of a mathematical model of the animals
habitat and interpretation of the results obtained from this model.
4. Use of video conferencing between students to discuss findings and
conclusions of their mathematical models.
5. From the results create sheets to answer particular questions and create
an interactive tour of Australia's Animals using the frames capability of
6. Development of a discussion group for teachers involved to exchange
ideas, observations and suggestions.
7. Make available successes and failures of the program.
8. Encourage modelling of other situations from other countries."

If you would like to be involved in this effort please send a note to Peter
and to me, Annie Fetter <>. In your note
you should indicate the level of your access to the Internet during the
week of the institute (July 14-19), the resources, expertise, and energy
you bring to this project, and your possibilities for being involved after
the institute. We will also be talking online before the 14th, so
availability earlier would be a plus.

Look for institute activity on the geometry.institutes newsgroup later in
July (see for
information on accessing this newsgroup).

Annie Fetter | The Math Forum | Voice: 610 328-8225
Student Project Co-ordinator | Swarthmore College | 800 756-7823 | Swarthmore PA 19081 | Fax: 610 328-7824

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