Mathematical and Computational Methods for Planning a Sustainable Future

This Exploratory Project is developing two prototype innovative instructional modules for grades 9-12 modules, and testing them extensively for usability and impact. These modules will emphasize the role of mathematics and computer science in planning for sustainability.

Award Number: 
1220022
Funding Period: 
October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2014
Full Description: 

This Exploratory Project is developing two prototype innovative instructional modules for grades 9-12 modules, and testing them extensively for useability and impact. These modules will emphasize the role of mathematics and computer science in planning for sustainability. The primary hypotheses is that short (roughly one week) interdisciplinary modules can positively impact students' in the following ways:

- attitudes toward mathematics and computer science by immersion in sustainability topics of personal relevance;

- facility with cross-cutting skills in mathematical and computational methods;

- awareness of interdisciplinary issues in sustainability;

- empowerment to engage in sustainability discourse and exercise responsible citizenship;

- learning of the STEM practices and modes of inquiry necessary to become the next generation of interdisciplinary problem solvers;

- awareness of STEM educational opportunities and career paths related to sustainable living.

The project is conducted by Rutgers Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP), Colorado State University (CSU), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and at multiple schools.

Topics for the initial two modules will be chosen by a high level Advisory Board from the following: Passive Solar Building Design, Weather Generators, Hydrologic Cycles, Invasive Species and Percolation, and Uncertainties with Projections in Climate Models. Each module will contain a description of career opportunities and related jobs, and highlight a person in one such job. Module writer teams of 2-3 writers consisting of at least one content expert and one pedagogical expert and/or experienced teacher will write the two modules in the first year; they will be tested with high school students in a summer prototyping workshop held at The Groton School in the summer between the two years of the project; revised during that summer; field tested in diverse high schools during the fall of the second year; revised again during the spring; and prepared for publication at the end of the two years.

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