After testing Hands-On Math Lab Kits in developmental math courses at Northern and seeing a marked increase in student interest, Northern professor Charles Knight was inspired to share his kits with local high school teachers, a goal the LANL Foundation was able to help him accomplish.
Knight received a LANL Foundation Small Grant in December making it possible for him to invite three McCurdy Charter High School math teachers to participate in a workshop on the use of the Hands-On Math Lab Kits.
“If we can help improve math learning outcomes while students are still in high school, help them grasp concepts in a way they weren’t able to before, we’re solving a problem early, before it becomes a more complicated one, or even a barrier to attending college,” said Knight.
Knight’s kits include hands-on learning about ellipses, slopes, the Pythagorean theorem, and proportional triangles. In addition, the kits are designed for outdoors use, which expands the learning environment beyond the classroom.
“It is very important that the students learn through hands-on approaches because they learn by doing or experiencing it on their own and it’s not abstract,” said one of the teachers at the training.
About one hundred McCurdy students stand to benefit from the Hands-On Math Lab kits and the outdoor learning experiences they provide. Following this initial training, Knight hopes to offer the same training to other local high school math teachers and benefit even more students.
Professor Charles Knight with some of the components of the Hands-On Math Lab Kits he created for developmental math classes at Northern.