Teacher Workshops On Blending Mathematics and Science in Middle Grades

Twenty-one middle grades mathematics and science teachers representing seven  schools in central Arkansas participated in two one-week workshops during June and July on UCA Campus. Teams of one mathematics and one science teacher were engaged in activity-based lessons that were designed to reflect content from both the mathematics and science frameworks as adopted by the Arkansas State Board of Education. The sessions were designed and led by Dr. Charles Watson, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Mr. Jerry Mimms, Master Science Teacher in the Biology Department. As a culminating activity, each team was required to design and teach a lesson using principles learned during the workshop. At the close of each day, the staff was joined by a staff member from the College of Education who worked with the class in creating their own 5-E lesson plans. Those plans were shared with the participants so that each team goes back to their school with 10 lesson plans. During the upcoming  fall semester, a project staff member will visit each school and observe teachers implementing the concepts learned during the summer sessions. Additionally, the participants will convent on two Saturdays to share new lessons and reflect on lessons learned.

The workshops were part of a  $57,780 No Child Left Behind grant  through the Arkansas Department of Education titled  Blending Mathematics and Science in Middle Grades.  UCA STEM Institute Director Dr. Uma Garimella is the PI for the grant.

 

2017 Summer Mathematics and Science Program @ UCA

The tenth annual 2017 Summer Mathematics and Science Program  @ UCA was held from June 12 to June 30 on the UCA campus. Twenty middle and high school students from Conway participated in this three-week program. This year, the program had five activities: Algebra I, Algebra II, Biology, Physics and Robotics and Computer Coding. The Algebra I activity was presented Ms. Cara Cates, Math Specialist at the UCA STEM Institute, whereas Algebra II session was taught by Ms. Katie Burden, a graduate student in the Math MA Program. Biology faculty member Dr. Krista Peppers and physics faculty members Dr. Debra Burris conducted activities in biology and physics respectively. Biology activity include a field trip to the Jewel Moore Natural Reserve on UCA campus for plant identification.   Another physics faculty member, Ms. Nancy Getson, conducted robotics activity. Dr. Mark Doderer of the Computer Science Department taught computer coding. Contents of all activities were designed to stimulate and enhance students’ interests in math and sciences with several hands on experiments. Dr. Ramesh Garimella, Chair of Mathematics Department and Dr. Umadevi Garimella, Director of the UCA STEM INSTITUTE organized the summer program. For information about future Math and Science Summer programs, please Contact Ramesh Garimella at 501-450-3147 or rameshg@uca.edu.

 

Student Talks: Undergraduate and Graduate Theses

AndrewOn Friday three of our students gave presentations right here at UCA. Andrew Jensen (pictured with his committee members) and Diana Morales gave talks in the student center to defend their undergraduate honors theses. Graduate student Edward Tawiah gave his talk in the math department to defend his thesis in our M.S. program.

“Comparing Efficiency of Roundabouts to Traffic Lights in Conway, Arkansas – A probabilistic and Simulation Approach”
Andrew Jensen (Under R.B. Lenin and George Bratton)

“Mathematical Modeling of an Epidemic with Exposed Group and Diffusion”
Diana Morales (Under Long Le and Danny Arrigo)

“Factors Contributing to the Success of Small Businesses Using Structural Equation Modeling – A Statistical Framework”
Edward Tawiah (Under R.B. Lenin)

STEM Night: Partnering with local school

pic2On April 6th, in a joint effort with Carl Stuart Middle School and Dr. Fetterly’s class (MATH 4335 Concepts of Advanced Mathematics), the two joined forces to involve parents and their children in activities that focused on math. The evening was based on a “50’s” theme Rockin Around the Clock. Carl Stuart faculty and UCA students dressed up for a blast from the past. Hands-on and conceptual activities were presented to some 100 families. Parents and children experienced mathematical activities that emphasized algebraic thinking and proportional reasoning.

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UCA goes to MAA Conference

This past weekend UCA sent three faculty members (Ramesh Garimella, Jason Martin, and Jeffrey Beyerl) and six students (Azaryah Wilson, Connor Wilson, Lindsey Hazeslip, Andie Weaver, Katie Burden, and Kayla Waters) to the Mathematical Association of America sectional conference at the University of Oklahoma. The undergraduate students competed in math jeopardy and the integration bee. The competition team did not take home any prizes, but Azaryah came extremely close having lasted 7 out of the 9 rounds in the integration bee. The graduate students and Dr. Beyerl presented talks.

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Left to right: Andie Weaver; Lindsey Hazeslip; Azaryah Wilson; Connor Wilson

STEM Fair with the Conway Symphony

MathClubStemFair2Last Saturday the math club and Loi Booher hosted a booth at the STEM Fair before the Conway Symphony’s presentation of The Planets. Emily Tran, Media Tech for the math club organized four other students to present mathematical curiosities and games to local middle school aged children.

Calculus Tournament 2016

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The third annual Calculus Tournament was held on November 19, 2016 from 4 to 5: 30 PM in the Math Resource Center of the Department of Mathematics. Eleven teams, each with at most 3 students, competed in the tournament to solve eighteen calculus problems. The problems ranged from the history of calculus to differentiation and integration to applications of calculus were selected by Dr. Jeff Beyerl, Math Club  Faculty Advisor. The winning team members- Lindsey Hazeslip, Azaryah Wilson, and Connor Wilson- each received a gift certificate for $15. Plans are underway to select a couple of teams to represent UCA at the Math Jeopardy Contest at the Oklahoma- Arkansas Sectional Meetings of the Mathematical Association of America to be held at University Oklahoma in Spring 2017. Pictured here are a few scenes from the tournament.

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