The Building Better Math Project
A Database of Applied Math Problems
Many high school students are avoiding math, and cutting off pathways to exciting technical careers before they even know about them. High school curriculum has few "real-world" problems. Leaders in industry and government worry about coming skills shortages, especially in technical areas.
Parents and teachers alike have heard the question "why do I need to learn this?" Concept by concept, it's frequently difficult to come up with a convincing answer.
BCIT's Math Department has had great success using real life, technology-specific applications to engage post-secondary students in the art of mathematical problem solving. We believe this excitement and interest in mathematics can be transferred to younger students if they are able to see the critical role of math in areas of geosciences, health care, engineering, renewable resources, oceanography, forensics, architecture and other industries.
Building Better Math is an online database, tied to the high school curriculum and embedded in powerful Maple TA, of real-world math problems. These rich and broad applications to the many fields of science, health, engineering and technology, can encourage and even inspire students to consider and explore careers in science and technology.
The online Maple TA system:
- generates a different question for every student, each time, enhancing collaborative learning by allowing students to discuss the problem-solving process and not just the answer
- grades automatically – teachers can give more assignments without adding to workload
- can provide instant feedback, immediately reinforcing successful strategies through formative assessment
- can offer fully worked step-by-step solutions
- requires no technical infrastructure other than internet access
All questions are designed by professionals in their field, and help clarify and cement concepts teachers have covered in class lessons.
This activity has been supported by a donation provided by Amgen Canada.