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Mathematica in Secondary Education

Posted 10 years ago
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I know this is early days for this community, but I have a request! I have been using Mathematica in high school mathematics lessons for the past academic year, not just for demonstrations, but to introduce my pupils to the basics of programming, and how we can use computers in problem solving. I am wondering if there are any examples of good practice, resources or just advice from people who are doing, or who have done, similar things. I am familiar with the Demonstrations project, but I am looking more at how I can get my students to be creative with Mathematica. 
I have some resources of my own which I am happy to share as well.
Thanks,
Nick 
POSTED BY: Nick James
18 Replies
Posted 10 years ago
I am parent. I have tried to modify one mathematica demonstration project to show my school going sons, how to use mathematica for their school project work.
I am interested to know more about your experience and the resources you wish to share.

Thanks,
Jos
From India.
POSTED BY: jos_elias
Hi Jos,
I'll look for a way to upload what i have done so far. The resources are for learning the genreal basic aspects of Mathematica such as lists etc., and include some problems, but nothing hugely specific to the secondary curriculum. Some are even culled from past maths olympiads. Let me know if there is anything specific you want to know, I'll try to help, if I can. 
Nick 
POSTED BY: Nick James
One thing worth browsing: one can see that there is a ot of interest but nothing in my opinion has really "gelled" as yet.

https://www.computerbasedmath.org/forum/
POSTED BY: William Stewart
Hi William,
I've been following that project with interest, especially now they seem to have got a country (Estonia?) on board. I agree that it doesn't really seem to have gelled, but maybe that is a function of them keeping the work to themselves. Wolfram have recently added a lot of stuff here: http://www.wolfram.com/solutions/precollege/materials.html, but I wouldn't really call that CBM, more of using the tools to teach mathematics in a more visual, but still traditional, way. 
Do you use Mathematica with your tutees?
Nick
POSTED BY: Nick James
As promised, here are the resources I have created for teaching Mathematica at a secondary level. I would be very interested in improvements, and any mistakes are apologised for!
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vpevj14bqf0opus/4-ElxeRqXd
POSTED BY: Nick James
Thanks, Nick.  Awesome!
POSTED BY: Charles Broming
Posted 10 years ago
Just a link to some earlier discussion on mathematica.stackexchange.com

What is the best Mathematica tutorial for young people?
POSTED BY: Jacob Akkerboom
Thanks, Jacob, there are some very good suggestions there. I use Project Euler extensively with the more gifted students, but it gets tough very quickly!
Most of the resources there are more for the pupil with infinite reserves of self motivation, not for the average class of 13-16 year olds!
I am still interested to hear from people using Mathematica, or indeed any kind of computer based maths, in a classroom setting.
POSTED BY: Nick James
Posted 10 years ago
Nick James, I am also quite interested in this. Sadly I now know practically nobody even going to high school. Oh well, good luck!
POSTED BY: Jacob Akkerboom
Several of my colleagues used to teach math and business statistics in their "former lives," including Andy Dorsett and Craig Bauling, who have created some sample lessons that you may find of interest. Each includes the NCTM standard which each lesson fulfills.

These ready-made example lessons can give you a jumping-off point for using Mathematica to teach these topics in your classes, and offer student activities that will help them explore these topics in Mathematica through creative problem solving.

Abby Brown, who teaches math at Torrey Pines High School, has also created a variety of Mathematica notebooks that may be of interest:
http://teachers.sduhsd.k12.ca.us/abrown/index2.html (under Resources > Computer Files)

She challenges her students to use Mathematica in interesting ways, and has posted many of their projects on their MathematiClub web site...from a kaleidoscope to a beat box machine to an alarm clock. Interesting stuff!

-Kathy
Posted 10 years ago
Thanks, Kathy. This is a great resource!
George
POSTED BY: George Foster
Charles Broming,
You're welcome, please let me know if you use them and how it went.
Jacob Akkerboom,
Thanks for the luck, I just hope I'll enjoy the journey!
Katherine Bautista,
Thanks so much for those references, I've had a quick flick through some of the sample lessons in the Wolfram library, and they seem good for teaching in that traditional way, and I am sure they will allow pupils to explore some concepts. Do you know if Abby Brown is still using Mathematica with her students, as I would be very interested to talk to her if she is?
POSTED BY: Nick James
Yes, Abby still uses Mathematica in I believe both her algebra and calculus classes. I have reached out to her in email to see if she can share some of her experiences.

-Kathy
Thanks, Kathy, that's very helpful.
POSTED BY: Nick James
Hi Nick,

I have also been working to incorporate Mathematica into my instruction.  In particular with my calculus students.  I have developed a few programs to help illustrate the sequential criterion for the limit of a real-valued function, as well as a few other "toys" for lack of a better description.  I call them toys since I developed them to help me learn Mathematica and I found them fun.

I am in Surrey.  Perhaps we can collaborate?

rk
POSTED BY: Robert Kennedy
Hi Nick,

Thanks for your files.

I have put two files into a dropbox.  I wrote these files for my colleagues to begin learning Mathematica.  I am going to use them with my calculus students at the beginning of the year.  I will post more in the future.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/szay3k8yjlg55ed/ZMFvL-BEiB

Have Fun
POSTED BY: Robert Kennedy
Hi Robert,
Of course I would love to collaborate, and that is true for any other secondary teachers who are watching. I can't see a way for direct messages to happen through this forum, so my email is:
jamesn AT ashfordschool. co. uk
POSTED BY: Nick James
Posted 11 months ago

Hello Nick, my name is John and I teach math and science at a small private school in the US. I was just reading through your post on the Wolfram community from 9 years ago. Our math department has recently been trying to figure out curriculum choices to spiral computational thinking through our grades(5-12). Are you still active in this regard? I have been trying to find other schools that have committed to the ideas of e.g., Conrad Wolfram and Jo Boaler and more specifically schools that have implemented computational thinking and computer-based maths throughout their mathematics course sequence. However, I haven't had much success finding working implementations at the primary/secondary school level. Have you looked into this? I am a WL/Mathematica user myself and use it in my classroom and with my students and this seems to be the most common state of affairs. One or two people here and there trying to do things. Your insights would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,

POSTED BY: John Martin
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