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Math/Science Project Applied Best Practices Revised for the Classroom presented by Anita Szombathelyi and Jennifer DeBello Office of College and Career Readiness Summit December 8, 2011. Math Science Partnership Project APPLIED Bossier/Webster/Caddo Parishes 2007-2010. MSP Goals.

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Math/Science Project Applied Best Practices Revised for the Classroompresented byAnita Szombathelyi and Jennifer DeBelloOffice of College and Career Readiness Summit December 8, 2011

msp goals
MSP Goals
  • Increase teacher content knowledge and teaching skills
  • Increase number of effective teachers of math and science
  • Improve student achievement
  • Increase student interest in STEM programs and opportunities
project director
Project Director
  • Curtis Smith, Science Coordinator, Bossier Parish


  • Dr. Elahe Mahdavian, LSUS Science Department
  • Dr. Brian Salvatore, LSUS Science Department
  • Dr. Anita Szombathelyi, LSUS Mathematics Department
  • Bronwyn Young, HS Science Coordinator, Bossier Parish
  • Ann Allred, HS Mathematics Coordinator, Bossier Parish


Master Teachers

  • Lebanon Driggers, HS Science Teacher
  • Theresa Stephenson, HS Mathematics Teacher
  • Thirty high school math and science teachers who teach Algebra I or Physical Science in Bossier, Webster, or Caddo parishes
timeframe and schedule
Timeframe and Schedule
  • 3-year long project
  • 15-day summer institute
  • 6 follow up sessions during the school year


  • Algebra I
  • Physical Science
  • Aligned with Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum and Grade Level Expectations; a specific set of GLE’s addressed each year

ObjectivesTo provide instruction and training for high school math and science teachers addressing specific set of GLE’s in Algebra I and Physical Science so that

  • Teachers’ mathematical and science content knowledge would increase and they would be more confident in cross-curricular activities
  • Teachers would “speak the same language” when teaching their disciplines
  • Their students would score higher on standardized tests
  • Their students would have a higher passing rate in Algebra I and Physical Science courses
  • Classroom activities acted out by teachers, followed by whole group discussion
  • Lectures
  • Presentations
  • Science lab work
  • Computer lab work, software applications
  • Intensive technology use (graphing calculators, CBL, CBR, Excel, Geogebra)
  • Fieldtrips
  • LATM, NSTA conference attendance
results teachers
Results - Teachers
  • Increased pedagogical and content knowledge both in mathematics and science

(pre- and post-test score comparison)

  • Increased confidence in discussing and teaching topics and concepts outside of subject area taught

(survey, observation)

  • Renewed enthusiasm and appreciation for mathematics and science in general

(survey, observation)

results teachers1
Results – Teachers
  • MSP Project Applied participants have a 50% more hands-on approach to teaching than did teachers not in Project Applied


  • Evidence of more inquiry-based instruction, as well as increased use of technology.


  • Collaboration among teachers of same and different subject


(informal interview, observation)

results students
Results - Students
  • Impact on about 2200 students who are taught by MSP Project Applied teacher
  • Increased mathematical and science content knowledge

(iLeap, GEE, and EOC test scores)

  • Raised interest in mathematics and science, in general

(observations, informal interviews)

  • Perseverance in mathematical tasks and lab work

(observations, informal interviews)

  • Lower failure rates in Algebra I and Physical Science course
impact of teachers increased content knowledge on students comprehension and achievement
Impact of Teachers’ Increased Content Knowledge on Students’ Comprehension and Achievement
  • “I do believe students are benefiting from my improvements in teaching them to view the quantitative data in terms of tests of scientific ideas we are currently discussing. Many students have told me that by us using the scientific ideas behind the measurements being made had helped them to better understand what they are observing as it is happening.”
participants feedback about msp and the programs impact on teachers and their students
Participants’ Feedback about MSP and the Programs’ Impact on Teachers and Their Students
  • "I enjoy working with like-minded individuals...It helps me stay motivated."
  • "I appreciate the opportunity to be with the Project APPLIED group. I am fired up this year with all the new activities.“
  • "Even though the material frequently went way beyond the capability of the typical freshman student, it was important that the teacher understood the reaches of each topic should students want to know the WHY of the content."
teachers comments
Teachers’ Comments
  • "The high level of instructor knowledge combined with their exemplary teaching skills provided us with models to pattern and further challenge our students while simultaneously providing the means to succeed.“
  • "I love the MSP Project. I have learned so much and have networked with so many other teachers and have been able to share great ideas and discuss when and why an activity didn\'t work."
more comments
More Comments …
  • "There was a lot of team-based activities that taught us to work together and join our knowledge to complete tasks. Knowledge on both sides greatly improved and enabled us to improve our cross-curricular instruction.“
  • "Being able to do hands on activities helped me to be able to better understand them from a student\'s perspective. I also learned so much from other teachers and their experiences. Thank you for this opportunity to be a part of this wonderful program!"
more comments1
More Comments …
  • "Science is easily demonstrated with activities, but math concepts were a mystery to me as far as ideas to demonstrate topics. Now, I have wealth of activities and ideas to hopefully make the topics more understandable for my math students.“
  • “My students scores on the EOC have improved drastically since I completed the MSP class.”





Shooting Free Throws

  • Barbie Bungee
  • Dynamic Domino Race
  • Susie the Shape Girl Shape Girl Pic
  • Density of Pennies
  • Hot Air Balloons
eoc scores
EOC Scores
  • Excellent 12.3%
  • Good 33.8%
  • Fair 40.0%
  • Needs

Improvement 13.8%

  • Excellent 64.6%
  • Good 33.3%
  • Fair 2.1%
  • Needs

Improvement 0.0%

May 2009 – Pre-MSP

Dec 2010 – Post-MSP

  • MSP Project Applied Yearly APR’s (2008, 2009, 2010)
  • MSP Project Applied Final Report (2010)
contact information
Contact Information
  • Dr. Anita Szombathelyi

[email protected]

  • Jennifer DeBello

[email protected]

  • Curtis Smith

[email protected]