IMAGINE-NC: Integrating Mathematics and Geology In Eastern North Carolina
Content-rich and engaging out-of-school activities can improve students' in-school performance in mathematics and science. In 2014 passing rates on mathematics (Grades 3rd through 8th) and science (Grades 5th & 8th), end-of-grade (EOG) tests in Beaufort County ranged from 8-50% and 47-64%, respectively. To address these low scores and increase interest in STEM careers, the IMAGINE-NC project is offered by the Aurora Fossil Museum, geosciences and education faculty from East Carolina University, and PotashCorp-Aurora. It consists of three components; a) two, week-long, non-residential, summer camps that serves 60 4th-8th graders, b) four weekend activities during the school year for parents, students and teachers, and c) support for teachers during the school year with inquiry-based, integrated, science/mathematics activities.
Earth-science comprises much of the science curriculum for grades 4--8. For 4th and 5th graders, IMAGINE-NC engages students in the study of fossils, weather, landforms, properties of materials, and the history of life. In grades 6-8, students pursue the study of maps, Earth's structure, hydrologic cycle, and geologic time. Using these topics, concurrent mathematics activities support learning of the science as well as important mathematics concepts. All activities are developed collaboratively by the IMAGINE-NC staff.
IMAGINE-NC helps students interpret, analyze and evaluate scientific/ mathematical data so they can better understand the world around them, become more competent and comfortable with open-ended, inquiry-based, STEM activities, and improve their ability to work in groups and use mathematics and science to solve problems. They also interact with student-oriented STEM professionals who serve as instructors and exemplars for careers in STEM fields.
Cynthia D Crane
Aurora Fossil Museum Foundation, Inc.