Science and Mathematics in the Real World
Science and mathematics are part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) multi-dimensional strategy that can effectively sustain our twenty-first century knowledge-based economy. STEM careers provide a wide variety of opportunities to understand and address global issues. The most pressing issues of this generation include overpopulation, environmental degradation, pollution, and global warming. These are all subjects of intense and dedicated research by STEM professionals in very diverse fields. In this course, students will focus on how to apply science and mathematics concepts to the development of plans, processes, and projects that address real world problems, including sustainability and “green” technologies. This course also highlights how science and mathematics and the applications of STEM will be impacted due to the development of a greener economy. The course exposes students to a wide variety of STEM applications and to real world problems from the natural sciences, technology fields, and the world of sports, and emphasizes the diversity of STEM career paths. The importance of math, critical thinking, and mastering scientific and technological skill sets is highlighted throughout. Challenging and enjoyable activities provide multiple opportunities to develop critical thinking skills and the application of the scientific method, and to work on real world problems using STEM approaches.
- Introduction to Science and Mathematics All Around Us: In Unit 1, students learn about basic scientific and mathematical applications that can be encountered all around us in the real world.
- Making Connections: Math and Science in Context: In Unit 2, students learn about the use of mathematics as a technological tool and the role of science in our environment, as reflected in the variety of problems, fields, and approaches that characterize the STEM fields.
- Designing and Conducting an Experiment: In this unit, students will go through a progressive analysis of converting a research question into an actual, feasible research design. While each major aspect they could encounter will be explained separately, the analysis throughout is focused on practical applications in exemplary situations.
- The Data: Evaluating Results and Drawing Conclusions: This unit looks at data: how data are collected, analyzed, and evaluated. There is an overview of statistical analysis and the related concept of statistical significance. Very basic statistical tests are covered, including the chi-square test, Student’s t-test, and the use of contingency tables.
- Reporting your Findings: This unit illustrates the fact that the entire scientific research process is always distilled into a publishable report of a very specific type.