STEM Practices Promoted with Innovative Math Program for Middle School Students from Tufts, MOS

December 24, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Walch Publishing, in partnership with Boston’s Museum of Science and Tufts University, has launched an innovative middle school enrichment curriculum transforming math into a hands-on engineering investigation. Building Math inspires students to learn algebra by solving engineering challenges on imagined adventures to Mount Everest, the Amazon, and a deserted South Pacific island.

The three-book Building Math series for grades 6-8 has been piloted successfully over the past two years with hundreds of students in Massachusetts schools.

Created with support from the GE Foundation’s Math Excellence Program, the Building Math series includes a reproducible teacher book at each grade level with student handouts and teacher support materials, a poster of the design process, and a DVD of classroom implementation. Recommended for enrichment, or as a replacement unit, each title in the series has an engaging theme:

• Everest Trek – While scaling the world’s tallest peak, students must design a well-insulated coat, a bridge to cross a crevasse, and a zip-line transporter to descend Everest in an emergency.
• Stranded! – On a remote South Pacific island, students design a shelter, a water collector, and a canoe loading plan to survive.
• Amazon Mission – To help people in Brazil cope with malaria, students design a carrier to insulate medicine against the heat, a water filter, and a plan to stop the spread of an influenza virus.

“The key to educating students for today’s competitive global economy is to engage them in applying both math and science knowledge to solve real problems. Introducing them to engineering design skills and concepts at a young age can help fuel the innovation of new technologies,” says Museum of Science president and director Ioannis (Yannis) Miaoulis. “That’s why we are developing standards-based engineering curricula reflecting the human-made world.”

About Walch Publishing
Building Math continues Walch Publishing’s reputation for extending and enhancing learning, with flexible solutions for middle school, high school, and beyond, incorporating national and state standards as appropriate. Founded 80 years ago, Walch Publishing’s accessible and affordable products are developed by expert educators and an in-house educational team, in partnership with leading schools and districts nationwide.