I am an IISME teacher working at the Intel Museum during this summer. We are thinking of an innovative educational program, and would like your feedback before we continue. I do want to emphasize this is really geared toward middle school math, so if anyone can respond to this please do. Since I am a teacher, I'm going to explain this idea in lesson plan format. Here it goes:
Objective Aimed for math students grades 5-9. Students will accomplish the following: a. solve math problems, known as "Problem of the Week" and "Problem of the day" (POW and POD) b. gain problem solving skills by working in collaborative groups that include fellow students and adult mentors c. use technology, particularly e-mailing and video-conferencing d. apply math in work simulated environment
Length: one semester
Materials: 2 POW, 1 POD (optional), 15 mentors per class, video-conferencing equipment, technical support, computer access with internet and e-mail account
Procedure: 1. Inquire from Intel for available role model pen pals. Begin with 30 volunteers, though if necessary can have as low as 15 (want a 1:1 or 1:2 mentor:student ratio). Explain to Intel the purpose of this program, and the benefits for students-learn math in an innovative way using technology, problem solving, and collaborative groups, as well as for Intel-great community PR, long term contribution to future generation of education.
2. Take care of setting up e-mail details. This can be done several ways: (a) through a school account or (b) sign up for free e-mail (www.hotmail.com or www.geocities.com). May want to tell students (or give them a copy) on how to start a pen pal letter, what questions to ask their mentors.
3. During the semester, student can come back to lab to initialize e-mail letters to pen pals come back every 2 weeks or monthly to continue correspondence. Use this in context of POW, and allow one day for students to use the lab early that week, encouraging them to e-mail their mentors for help of POW. Also have one video-conference with one mentor, as students and mentor discuss POW via video-conference.
4. Students and mentors end the semester program with a FINAL EVENT. Give it the appearance of a business conference, and will consist of: a. breakfast (if start early in day) b. museum tour c. on-site group POD activity or visit or mentor's work site d. lunch
The commitment from the mentors is only to e-mail back about 1-2 times
per month, and to attend the culminating event with the students. Do you think this program is feasible? Any suggestions for improvement? We would need 60 volunteers, since we are considering to pilot this among 4 math classes in Santa Clara County, CA. Would like to get your feedback on this. Thanks.
Kelly Vaughn Columbia Middle School (Sunnyvale, CA) IISME fellow at Intel Museum Santa Clara, CA e-mail: Tseh-SienX_Vaughn@ccm.sc.intel.com phone (408) 653-6924