The Regents Podcast is aimed to think about and equip how we practice that which is true, good, and beautiful in a 21st century context. The podcast gives Regents School of Austin a format to share with our community and beyond the amazing stories happening on our campus, and help equip parents shepherding their children’s hearts.
I was recently a guest on the podcast, along with four students from my AP Statistics class. We were invited to discuss their service-learning project in which they parter with a local homeless ministry for survey research and evaluating organizational effectiveness. You can listen to the podcast here.
Dr. Josh Wilkerson and a group of four AP Statistics Students (Cade Morris, Caroline Hooten, Lucy Gifford, and Chris Kuhlman) talk about their class survey/data analysis project with Mobile Loaves and Fishes and how they were impacted by the residents at the Community First! Village.
Note: this conversation was recorded last Spring and the Junior students who were involved are now Seniors!
Regents School of Austin, where I teach, will be hosting a summer institute for teachers and I’ll be leading a workshop on implementing service-learning in math courses. The target audience is math teachers at any level K-16 or pre-service math teachers.
Here are the details:
This workshop will assist you in developing successful service-learning projects in mathematics. Service-learning projects engage students in integrating their conceptual understanding of mathematics with the practical functioning of their local community. Ultimately students gain deeper content knowledge and a deeper appreciation for the role math plays in society.
Several examples of service-learning projects will be presented in detail from geometry and statistics, as well implementable ideas for other math courses. You will have the opportunity to brainstorm and work in conjunction with other educators to analyze the key components of a successful project, engage in discussion assessing the feasibility and logistics of implementing service projects in your own curriculum, critique project evaluation rubrics, and begin the design of your own service-learning project.
You will leave this workshop equipped to:
Determine the keys to a rewarding service-learning experience (after hearing personal testimony from students and community partners)
Modify and implement sample materials from past Regents projects (including project descriptions, calendars, and grading rubrics)
Connect the enduring understandings of your course with a community need
Evaluate student learning outcomes in keeping with your curriculum
Engage students with meaningful applications of math in the personal context of their local community
A word on cost (as I know it is high, and also out of my control). If someone is interested the workshop (setting price aside), please contact me and I will try to make it work. I would really love for anyone interested to attend and not have cost be a hurdle.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and please share with colleagues that you think might be interested.
This week I had the pleasure of writing a short note about my Geometry students’ spring project for my school’s newsletter. I thought I would include that below (as well as some pictures that weren’t included in the newsletter). I’ll provide a full write up here upon the completion of the semester.
Regents high school students are partnering with a local ministry to apply their math skills. Please read this inspiring story from Mr. Josh Wilkerson. He is one of our math teachers in the School of Rhetoric.
~ Rod Gilbert, Head of School
1 Peter 4:10 commands us: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
I use this foundational truth as the basis to address that customary question of the high school mathematics classroom: When am I ever going to use these math concepts? God instilled a mathematical gift into every human being, enabling humanity to fulfill the purposes of the Great Commandment (to love our neighbors) and the Great Commission (to take the good news to all people). How might we employ our “math-mindedness” in serving others as the Apostle Peter commands?
Mobile Loaves and Fishes (MLF) ministers to the homeless community here in Austin. They recently purchased a tract of land on which they plan to construct an affordable living community for the chronically homeless called Community First. The acreage includes space for trailers, RVs, micro-homes designed by University of Texas architecture students, a large garden with animals, a workshop, chapel, and a medical facility all in the hopes of being a self-sustaining community. The vision of Community First seeks to overcome the homeless mindset and demonstrate that home is more than a physical structure. Home is relationships and far more than just a roof.
MLF graciously allowed our freshman geometry class to participate with them in this project. They have asked our students to utilize their understanding of geometry by designing an awning for RVs. These awnings provide shade and protection to the roof of the RV but it is also creative and energy efficient. Furthermore, these awnings contribute to the mission of MLF in developing relationships and fostering true community.
This past Monday the students visited the MLF Community First project site so they could see the immediate fruit of their labor. The students spent time hearing directly from MLF representatives about their vision and their heart for the homeless, and also about the very real need they have in their design process that the students can meet. There were many questions asked, many measurements taken, and then more questions asked. The MLF representatives were very accommodating and thrilled to see the excitement that the students of Regents had over this opportunity. At the end of the project, these same MLF representatives will travel to Regents to hear the presentation of each team of students and then select a winning design.
As their teacher, I marvel at these students as they mature to understand that learning has NO meaning unless it produces a sustained and substantial influence not only on the way people think, but also on how they act, feel, worship, and serve. I am excited to see what the remainder of this semester holds.
SOR Mathematics Appreciation Teacher
Appreciating AP Statistics and Geometry www.GodandMath.com
Additional Pictures Not Included in the Newsletter: