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K-12 Math Projects:
Projects on the Web

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Project-based learning is a terrific way to link your curriculum with real world events and applications of concepts that your students are learning.  There are two pages in this section to help you and your learners:

Project Based Learning (Page 1): An essay about project based learning, which includes key questions and the methodology, how to design your own curriculum-based multimedia projects and WebQuests, and how to assess projects, including those involving multimedia.  Additional resources are included to help learners understand the beauty of math in nature.

Arrow: You are hereProjects on the Web (Page 2):  Below is our list of K-12 math projects.

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Projects on the Web

 

If you wish to become involved with project-based learning, it might be easier to start by participating in one or adapting one to your setting that has been designed by others.

 

Math projects don't have to be big.
Connect them to real-life events.

REALLY HOT: Bridges Inspire your students to be creative in a project connecting art to mathematics.  Visit the Bridges Galleries where you will find numerous mathematical art exhibits, photos, and a virtual museum with creations (e.g., paintings, drawings, sculptures, spherical art, origami, prints, textiles) by mathematicians and artists who are mathematically inclined.

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HOT: TheFuturesChannel.com contains videos that link math and science to real world applications and careers.  For example, the section on Teaching & Learning contains Algebra in the Real World (by topics covered within a typical algebra course), Hands on Math (by strands), Problem Solving (by strategies), and more.  Each video is accompanied by a lesson that delves into the video's content.  Best of all, videos and classroom activities are free.

HOT: NASA Online has award winning science, math, and technology videos and interactives for K-12.  Many are accompanied by instructional materials and interactive activities.  For example, NASA CONNECT is "an inquiry-based and standards-based, Emmy® award-winning series of mathematics-focused, instructional programs for students in grades 6 - 8. The series includes a 30-minute instructional broadcast, a companion lesson guide, and an interactive web-based application." The learning modules include math simulation videos--short clips showing how algebra and geometry topics in ratios, percents, and graphing apply for gravity (Earth vs. Moon, Earth vs. International Space Station), auroral activity, Mach speed of airplanes, and balancing a teeter-totter. There's also one showing how a parabola and its equation relates to basketball.

See the YouTube videos on Using Parabolas in Real Life.

HOT: Math teacher Thomas Petra has a terrific site, RealWorldMath.org, that integrates Google Earth and SketchUp into the math curriculum.  Within this site you will find lesson ideas, examples, and downloads for mathematics that embrace active learning and constructivism.  You'll find lesson downloads on concept lessons, measurement, project-based learning, exploratory lessons and space lessons.  The focus is for grades 4 and up, but teachers of younger students may be able to find some uses or inspiration from the site.  Higher level thinking skills, such as analysis, synthesis, and creativity are encouraged as well as technology skills and social learning.  The core of this site is mathematics, but many lessons lend themselves to interdisciplinary activities also.  There are videos and Google Earth tutorials, Xtranormal tutorials, and HTML layout tutorials.  A special section for teachers includes a blog.

 

Calvert Learning provides a project-based virtual and blended learning curriculum for K-8 learners, including for math.  Per its description, "Calvert’s approach to Project-based learning addresses the core principles of How People Learn, the National Research Council’s landmark study, based on considerable research. Special attention is made to experiential and active “doing”, creative problem-solving and having students showcase their mastery with creative expression. All projects have clear learning objectives, rubrics for teachers and students, and are aligned to standards."

CAMS (California Academy of Math and Science) Inventors Inc.: The Successful Investor Project "is designed to give high school seniors firsthand knowledge of the world of entrepreneurship. The project can encompass one full academic semester or an entire year, and it is broken down into five sections:

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CIESE, the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education, "sponsors and designs multidisciplinary STEM curricula that educators throughout the world can use. These compelling lessons and projects promote problem-based learning, collaboration, higher order thinking skills, and critical analysis through the integration of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and other core subjects. Many of the acclaimed CIESE projects use real-time data from scientific and government databases; engage students in global collaboration using pooled data from shared databases; involve student publishing on the Web; and provide access to unique and primary source information" (CIESE description section).  K-12 grade levels are included.  Math projects address number and operations, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and data analysis.

CIMS (Center for Industrial Mathematics and Science): Industrial Mathematics Projects for High School Students were developed by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  The database includes "over 20 industrial mathematics projects for high school students drawn from a variety of real-world situations. Projects are available for every level of high school mathematics, from Algebra to Calculus and Statistics. The length and scope of the projects are very flexible – a project often contains enough material for a major, semester-long endeavor, but its component parts can also be used as brief enrichment activities" (Database description section).  Projects are downloadable for immediate use.

HOT for CCSS: Curriki: PBL in the Geometry Classroom is a free curriculum that takes a project-based approach for learning.  There are several Common Core State Standards aligned projects, each of which focuses on at least two of the eight mathematical practice standards and includes a rubric for assessing mathematical practices.  Teachers can select to use all or just some of the projects.  Projects can be taught in any order and include technology and Web 2.0 resources "such as videos, documents, web pages, and dynamic geometry constructions, quizzes and exam suggestions for assessment, and other tools related to the project."  You'll find:

Defined STEM is a subscription service that provides project-based lessons for preK-12.  It features performance tasks (cross-curricular in nature), literacy tasks, constructed responses in which students engage in real-world applications of concepts within a context of a career/industry.  A real-world video sets the stage for each lesson.  The curriculum is built around the Understanding by Design Framework, which was co-authored by Jay McTighe.  A standards grid shows how tasks and related products align with state and national standards (e.g., Common Core ELA and Math).  Rubrics are provided to help grade student work.  A free trial is available.

Engineering the Future: The Educator's Guide to Building and Construction includes a "collection of lessons, activities, projects, videos, and more, broken down by grade level [K-4, 5-8, 9-12, and When I Grow Up]... to assist educators in teaching young people core areas of study by introducing them to the world of building and construction" (Overview section).  Each grade level group relates building and construction to various STEM fields of study and then provides practical math projects/activities suitable for the grade level.

Global SchoolNet's Projects Registry includes more than 2,500 annotated listings of teacher-led global projects.  It is searchable by date, age level, geographic location, collaboration type, technology tools used, or keyword. Narrow your search also by curriculum area.  Join an existing project or announce one of your own.  The database has several hundred projects addressing math.

GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based science and education program.  Students use the scientific method to create hypotheses, analyze data, draw conclusions and report their results through the Internet.  They take scientifically valid measurements in the fields of atmosphere, hydrology, soils, and land cover/phenology - depending upon local curricula.  GLOBE trains teachers to help students improve their achievement in science and math, and in the use of computer and network technology.

Hands-On Math Projects, Volume 2, by Carolyn S. Carter with Sara Cohen, Marian Keyes, Patricia S. Kusimo, and Crystal Lunsford (2002), contains two chapters devoted to "Projects That Help Middle-School-Age Youth Discover the Science and Mathematics in Everyday Life."  The Mathematics of Quilting exposes learners to plane geometry, symmetry, and tessellations.  In Making Art through Mathematics, learners explore Cartesian coordinates, 2-D and 3-D geometry, measurement, symmetry, and volume.  This is a pdf document.

iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) "enables young people to use the Internet and other new technologies to engage in collaborative educational projects that both enhance learning and make a difference in the world."  Math projects, for example, include Mathematics and Agriculture (ages 10+), Connecting Math to Our Lives (all ages), and Mathematics Virtual Learning Circle (all ages).  iEARN offers both face-to-face and online professional development workshops and courses for educators seeking to integrate online global project work into their classrooms.  Workshops include the technical, collaborative and organizational skills needed to participate.

Making Mathematics includes open-ended research projects suitable for grades 7-12, which was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation during 199-2002.  Math projects, which remain online for replication, are rated from 1 (no algebra) to 4 (advanced algebra and beyond).  Projects contain the problem statement, prerequisites, warm-up problems, hints, resources, teacher notes, extension problems, results.  Additional resources include a teacher handbook with advice and activities for teaching research skills, a mentor handbook, and mathematics tools with important supporting content regarding proof, number theory, Pascal's triangle, Geometry of complex numbers, Iteration, and Numbers and Infinity.

Mathematics Classroom Examples at the Galileo Educational Network Association and Mt. Royal College in Calgary, Alberta, Canada include a number of inquiry-based activities with special sections devoted to Math Fairs, Math Investigations, and primary, middle, and high school project investigations.  You can search by grade level, subject area, and language.

Mind Research Institute K-12 Game-a-thon is an annual math challenge in which students "design, build and share a game that features creative and unusual solutions to mathematical problems. Teams of one or more students, along with a teacher or parent in a coordinator role, can invent card games, board games, apps, outdoor games or anything else that addresses a mathematical topic ranging from counting to irrational numbers to measurement to modeling."  The challenge begins in February with entries due in July--see the site for exact dates.  Prizes are awarded.

Models of Excellence, an initiative of Expeditionary Learning in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is "a curated, open-source collection of models of high-quality PreK-12 student work, along with resources to support the use of exemplary student work to inspire and elevate teaching and learning" (FAQ section).  You'll find many examples of math projects and projects related to other subjects, and resources that can be filtered by topics, such as planning, critique and revision, standards, differentiation, mindsets, assessment, and more.

PBLWorks from the Buck Institute for Education includes a database of projects in multiple subjects, including for math.  You can search by subject area, grade level, standards including the Common Core.  Additional resources include articles, blogs, videos, planning tools, rubrics, and student handouts.

Deep Math Projects by Jerry Burkhart at 5280math.com "are open-ended projects that you can extend by continuing to ask new questions. The problems often have multiple solutions and/or solution paths. The activities are self-differentiating. Students may enter and exit them at points that suit their level of understanding. The grade levels are approximate suggestions, because students can think of the problems and questions on many levels" (Description section).  Listed projects are suggested for elementary grades.

Science Buddies has numerous project ideas categorized within different areas of science.  Among those are over 100 math projects of varying levels of difficulty.

 

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Seek Permission.

Friendly reminder GifDavid Warlick of Landmarks for Schools (http://landmark-project.com/) reminds teachers and students to seek permission when using information from web sites designed by others.  He has provided simple to use Permission Templates for this purpose, which will automatically go to the author or web master of the site you wish to use in instruction or for a school project.  Use his Citation Machine to automatically create references in APA, MLA, Turabian, or Chicago format.  Students then can cut and paste those references into their projects.

Share Classroom Projects with an Authentic Audience.

Consider having your students create their own digital storybooks to display projects.

 

 

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Binoculars GifLearn about the technical side of creating multimedia projects, including working with images and video.

See CT4ME Technology Integration: Multimedia in Projects