Walk into a Math I Class at BFA Fairfax and you will see students hard at work finishing a project to wrap up their statistics unit. Their research matters to them since it connects statistical analysis and representation with a real-world investigation.
Their assignment? “Research a variety of colleges around a theme that is important to you – big football schools, schools with a Marine Biology major, colleges within a 300-mile radius with a strong nursing program, colleges with creative art programs – choose what interests you. You must gather, organize, and analyze specific data using the statistical tools we have learned in class. Be ready to present your findings to the group. Work together to create an interesting visual representation of your data.”
In this project, students pursue their own personal interests, and then practice and apply research, mathematical, and technology skills with the support of their iPad, their friends, and their teacher. Personal engagement, collaboration, and inquiry are key to a successful project.
Students come away with a heightened awareness of higher education options, career choices, and research skills to make decisions about their future. They also apply their understanding of statistics. This is a great way for students to begin to look beyond high school and see the everyday relevance of mathematical practices.