University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Friday, April 7th 2017
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Anita Schuchardt, University of Minnesota
Subject: Enhancing Science Learning and Problem Solving through Mechanism Connected Mathematics

While integrating mathematics into science classrooms has long been part of the conversation in science education, students still struggle to solve quantitative problems across science disciplines. Traditionally, most mathematics use in the science classroom mathematics is for algorithmic calculation of a quantity or as a provided expression of a known scientific law or relationship. Often, in these uses of mathematics, the meaning and connection of the mathematical expression to the scientific phenomenon is lost to naïve learners. An instructional model will be presented that has students engage in the scientific practice of mathematical modeling by developing and refining of equations that connect the variables and functions in the mathematical expression to the entities and mechanisms in the scientific phenomenon. Effects on student learning and problem solving in the context of a unit in biology will be discussed.

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