Math Day is a celebration designed for students to participate in a variety of hands-on, inquiry-based lessons as a culminating activity to our TIE Grant project. It will be a one-day affair, which is scheduled to last several hours. To begin with, we plan to invite all fourth graders and middle and high school students enrolled in algebra.
The activities will predominantly take place outside, most likely on the football field. We will also use the computer lab, a classroom for a math contest, and possibly other rooms or the auditorium for our invited speakers. Parents and community members will be integral to the success of our Math Day. Parents will be utilized as booth supervisors, will help with preparation of the activities, and may be invited to serve as judges and/or speakers for our career presentations.
To help motivate students for the upcoming event, we plan to hold a poster contest at the elementary level and a writing contest for the middle and high school levels. The objective of the poster contest is for students to show how math is important in astronomy. The writing contest is an activity called “Letters to the Man in the Moon”. The idea is for students to view the plaque left on the moon by Neil Armstrong and then to decide what they would write if they were in Armstrong’s place. In addition, what mathematics would be important to share in anticipation of its later discovery? This lesson was written by Robin Ward and can be found at http://daniel.calpoly.edu/~dfrc/Robin/Plaque/plaque.html.
On Math Day, students will participate in three grade level appropriate activities, be a contestant in a timed math test, listen to several career presentations, and end the day with an awards ceremony. Students will rotate from location to location, spending approximately twenty minutes at each event.
In addition to the above activities, we plan to invite parents and other community members to give career presentations. These presentations would involve an explanation on how the speaker’s job uses math, science, or technology. They might also include a demonstration or experiment to raise the students’ interest level. We also plan to give the children entering the presentation a list of questions that they must find the answers to - we hope to make it similar to a scavenger hunt so the students will be eager to ask questions if all answers are not presented to them.
Another scheduled event will be a timed math contest. The test will consist of twenty computations and twenty word problems. Most word problems will be similar to questions they will see on the TAAS for their level, but we also want to include some higher level questions to help us select the winners of the contest. We intend to administer the test in a classroom that has been decorated to look like outer space - this will be another task in which we would like our parent to help out.
As mentioned above, at the end of the day we will have an awards ceremony to give recognition to winners of the math, poster, and writing contest at all levels. We hope that community members will help us out by donating coupons and other items to hand out as prizes in addition to certificates of achievement.
NASA images used with permission for educational purposes. Some clipart images by Absolute Web Graphics Archive. If we have forgotten to credit any clipartist for his/her work, we apologize and will gladly make corrections as soon as notified.