Integrating Sustainability and Quantitative Reasoning across the Disciplines. Caren Diefenderfer , Hollins University Eric Gaze, Bowdoin College Corri Taylor, Wellesley College. SISL: Sustainability Increases Student Learning.
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CarenDiefenderfer, Hollins University
Eric Gaze, Bowdoin College
Corri Taylor, Wellesley College
The National Numeracy Network (NNN) is one of the original 11 STEM disciplinary societies working together with the AAC&U to better prepare students for 21st century “Big Questions” that relate to real world sustainability challenges such as energy, air and water quality, and climate change.
“The challenge of living on this emerging planet is the challenge of our time, exempting no one, no organization, no nation, and no generation.”
-- David Orr
QR focuses on the hands-on use of logic, statistics, and math to solve authentic problems in context-rich settings across a wide array of fields
* Reading and understanding quantitative info in graphs, tables, etc.
* Interpreting quantitative info and drawing appropriate inferences
* Solving problems using logic, math, statistics
* Estimating answers and checking for reasonableness
* Communicating quantitative information: verbally, graphically, numerically
* Using and creating mathematical or statistical models and recognizing their limitations
Not only in…
semester-long group projects
in upper level courses
in Environmental Studies,
although these opportunities for
advanced work are important, too…
Sustainability examples that use QR are easy to swap into introductory-level STEM courses
Sustainability problems that utilize QR do not have to be an “add-on” to busy course
Sustainability education resources and QR resources exist, but many faculty are not aware of them.
In this workshop, participants will explore the relationship between sustainability and mathematics “at the beach.” Participants will study current USE Math projects and identify sustainability topics that are applicable for use in their introductory mathematics classes (including College Algebra, Quantitative Reasoning, Introductory Statistics, Precalculus, and Calculus I). They will then work on creating new projects dealing with themes such as beach erosion, waterfowl diversity, marine animal populations, aquaculture, and more. Sustainability-focused educators, marine scientists, and other professionals will give presentations on new initiatives in resource management and lead field excursions through the Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge. Participants will get dirty and wetwhile taking part in the excursions, and some activities will require participants to walk across wet, muddy, and sandy terrain. Following the intensive component workshop, participants will use the materials, evaluate their effectiveness, and prepare their projects for publication on the peer-reviewed USE Math website and for presentation at upcoming national meetings.