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Math Projects Integrate Engineering Design & Artistic Creativity

Abstract

"The Cincinnati Engineering Enhanced Math and Science (CEEMS) Program, funded by the National Science Foundation, DUE #1102990, empowers secondary math and science teachers to integrate the engineering design process and challenge - based learning into the courses they teach. Some of the curricular materials developed by CEEMS participating teachers also incorporate the fine arts into the design process, thus increasing student engagement and demonstrating the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to learning. This paper describes seven challenge-based learning endeavors developed for middle school and high school math classrooms that demonstrate the connection with math and fine arts. One curricular unit is described in detail to highlight the incorporation of engineering design and challenge - based learning, while the other six are summarized to provide other examples. Traditionally, math instruction features the teacher as the 'sage on the stage' and students working individually to apply formulas in order to find the 'right' answers. In contrast, CEEMS' pedagogical approaches result in student-directed instruction, which includes cooperative learning groups using creativity and critical thinking to develop unique solutions to design challenges."

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