This is an integrated approach to math, science and technology education. It's new approach -- namely Computational Math, Science and Technology -- CMST, will use math modeling and computer simulations to aid teaching, and learning in math and science. We are targeting the use of technology in partnering school districts. This project does not target the general use of technology; rather it aims to use desktop and hand-held computing devices to solve real-world science and engineering problems.
CMST pedagogy implements the learner-centered or constructivist approach recommended by the national and state standards for MST. Evidence supports the concept that technology applied to classroom education can support higher-order thinking by engaging students in authentic, complex tasks within collaborative learning contexts.† The research shows that education can be considerably improved by focusing on higher-order cognitive skills using project- and inquiry-based authentic learning, which is generally more effective than traditional didactic presentation in improving studentsí problem-solving skills. The CMST approach can even transform uninvolved, at-risk students into active and invested learners. CMST tools can be used to teach scientific topic via a series of student-controlled experiments and simulations without having the student know the mathematical and scientific details of the phenomenon being studied. This simple framework allows one to introduce a topic, then move deeper with more mathematical tools after students gain a higher level of interest and knowledge. This motivational and layered aspect of technology is a principal reason that educators strive to master and apply it. This project will work closely with outside consultants, including NSF RETA projects, to gather more evidence that could contribute to a culture of evidence for MSP program and particularly the CMST approach.
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