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Grant to Mathworks supports middle school video podcast lessons

By Alec Jennings
University News Service
April 21, 2010

The Mathworks program at Texas State University-San Marcos was awarded a grant by the 3M Foundation to support the creation of video podcast lessons by Austin middle school students piloting Mathworks curriculum.

Through the podcasts, students will explain fundamental math concepts to other students, creating an online network of peer-to-peer learning.

“We are delighted to be partnering with 3M in a new program that will engage students in making podcasts to share ideas about mathematics problems with other students online," said Max Warshauer, director of Mathworks and regents professor of mathematics. "Students who make a podcast will learn the ideas better themselves, while giving others the opportunity to build on those ideas.”

Russell Bridges, government and community affairs manager at 3M's Austin Center, said the $5,950 grant will fund the peer-to-peer resource, which will help students learn important concepts by creating a new avenue for communication.

“Intertwining new technology with the math curriculum will make learning more relevant and even more intriguing for students," Bridges said. "Learning from a peer will help certain students embrace math concepts more readily.”

Mathworks is a math education center at Texas State with core programs of summer math camps, teacher training and curriculum development. The Mathworks junior summer math camp and honors summer math camp are nationally recognized as among the premier programs in the country. Mathworks textbooks are currently being piloted in eight different schools across four districts, impacting over 1,300 middle school students.

For more information about the camps and other Mathworks programs please call (512) 245-3439, email mathworks@txstate.edu or visit the Web site at http://www.txstate.edu/mathworks/.