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  • 1. Katie Napier CI 350 Harold Blanco 2013 December 6 Narrative for Pillar Project Overall, Mathematics and Science share several characteristics that can help promote student success in the 21st Century. For instance, they both function to promote inquiry among students, foster innovation and creativity, enhance skills that are applicable in life, enable learning through experiences, and encourage collaboration among peers. Therefore, due to such characteristics that are crucial to success in the 21st Century, we must do all that we can to increase student motivation and achievement in these areas. Overall, math and science skills are important ingredients for success within the 21st Century due to the fact that this pillar promotes the development of critical thinking skills through data analysis and experimentation. Ultimately, due to the fact that math and science play a major role in society today (through advancements in technology and medicine), students need to be shown that these subject areas are applicable in daily life and that the skills acquired through the utilization of science and mathematics can ultimately function to optimize success in the 21st Century. Overall, there are multiple ways to utilize technology within the classroom to increase student motivation and interest in the areas of math and science. For instance, WebQuests could be utilized to provide the students with a variety of experiences. (For instance, a student could “become an astronaut” and explore regions of our solar system utilizing the links provided in the WebQuest). Also, digital stories could be utilized for lab reports to demonstrate that a student can perform a particular task (such as building a series circuit). In addition, podcasts and vokis could be utilized as creative ways for students to demonstrate that they understand a particular concept. (For instance, a student could create a voki that resembles Galileo to explain why heavy and light objects fall at the same rate when the only force acting is gravity). In addition, students could utilize QR codes to access links to helpful websites, such as Phet tutorials which can function to enhance a student’s math, physics, and chemistry knowledge through the utilization of manipulatives, puzzles, and games. Finally, blogs are another great
  • 2. tool that should be utilized within the classroom for student collaboration and research. Thus, through such forms of technology, science and mathematics can be made meaningful and engaging to students. Overall, there are many ways to incorporate math and science within a 21st Century classroom. For instance, upon discussing the similarities and differences between sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks, the students could actually apply the information that they have learned by participating in a “wonder wander” around the school to collect various rocks. The students will then take pictures of the rocks that they have gathered so that they can upload these images to the class blog. Next, the students will work in groups to develop a hypothesis regarding the identity of their collected rocks (For example, are the rocks igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary? Why?) Then, in order to test the accuracy of their hypotheses, each group will perform the following tests: calculate the density using a graduated cylinder, attempt to fracture the rocks, use a magnifying glass to determine each rock’s composition, and scrape each rock against a white tile to determine its streak. Once the students have completed these tests, each group will research information regarding the discovered characteristics of their rocks. This should ultimately enable the students to see whether or not their hypotheses were accurate. The groups will then record their test results and researched data in graphical form. In order to assess student achievement and comprehension, each group will be instructed to create a brief podcast explaining their application of the scientific method. However, the major project that will be utilized for assessment isthe Prezi Presentations that will be created by each group. These presentations must include the following information: a statement of their hypothesis, an explanation of their methods of testing, results/observations, any additional researched information that the group would like to add, a display of graphical data that the group created, and a brief conclusion stating whether or not their hypothesis was accurate. Ultimately, there are multiple ways to incorporate science and mathematics in a manner that fosters critical thinking, student creativity, and hands-on learning. Unfortunately, recent statistics reveal that the United States is beginning to fall
  • 3. behind in the areas of math and science literacy. Thus, it is crucial that we, as future educators, remind our students that this pillar is not only applicable to life in the 21st Century but can also be fun and engaging. Thus, we must do our best to increase student interest/motivation in the areas of math and science in order to effectively prepare our students for their futures within an increasingly competitive global economy and to inspire them to become lifelong learners.