Bringing Science into Beginning Algebra

Submitted by Becky Baranowski on

Science faculty are constantly hearing from their students, "This isn't math! I didn't learn this in my math class". Many students are not able to transfer what they learned in math into their science courses.  Most of the concepts in MAT091 are crucial to success in science.  Throughout the semester, I met with 6 science faculty to discuss HOW students see these topics in science classes.  When a certain concept came up in my MAT091 class, I would show students how they would see it in their science course work, based off of the examples fellow colleagues shared with me.   Students utilized the workbook created by Rachel Smith and Michelle Breaux called "Drawing Better Line Graphs!! and get more points on your lab reports".  Students were also exposed to the following MAT091 concepts that have importance in science: scientific notation, rules of exponents, position/time graphs, linear functions, domain/range, and systems of equations.

See attached for the results and more detail.  

Completed Full Cycle
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mat091-and-science-results.docx 121.56 KB
Average: 4.8 (6 votes)


Peter Turner Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:26pm

Becky - I sure applaud your efforts! I especially like how you sought out science '"voices" and "stole" your math colleagues ideas! Collaboration to the nth degree! Sorry the results weren't more reflective of your enthusiasm and efforts. What are your plans for this class for next semester?

Erik Huntsinger Tue, 04/15/2014 - 2:00pm

I agree with Pete, collaboration with colleagues not only that teach in other courses but in our divisions is a great way of modeling how to break down the silos of academe.  Our students will be the beneficiaries of these collaborations.

Bronwen Steele Tue, 04/15/2014 - 2:00pm

Becky, awesome efforts, it is tough. That is it is something that is very hard to measure, we have struggled with application type contexts for a long time and showing how it helps learning. Maybe not, maybe it just makes their minds a bit more open to learning. 

Rachel Smith Thu, 05/08/2014 - 11:31am

yey!! glad the workbook is helpful :)