A database of applied math problems for Maple T.A.
It’s a familiar question heard by parents and math teachers alike:
Why do I have to learn this? High school math curriculum has few real-world applications, leading many students to lose interest and avoid math courses. As a result, these students close off a large number of exciting technical career options before they have even had the chance to learn about them. At the same time, industry leaders are warning of upcoming shortages in technical skills which could have a profound effect on the economy.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has taken important steps to address these concerns. After years of engaging their own post-secondary students with real-life applications of mathematics, they embarked on an ambitious project to bring the same kinds of excitement to the high school classroom through the Building Better Math project.
What is the Building Better Math Project?
The Building Better Math project features a database of questions that help high school students practice math using relevant, real-world applications.
Examples are taken from engineering, health care, geosciences, renewable resources, oceanography, forensics, architecture, and other industries.
Questions are designed by professionals in each field, and help clarify and cement concepts teachers have covered in class.
Assignments are delivered through Maple T.A., the online testing and assessment system designed especially for mathematics.
Each student gets a different variation of each question, so students can collaborate on the problem-solving process while still doing individual work to find their own unique answer.
Assignments are graded automatically. Students can get extra practice without increasing the teacher’s workload.
Immediate feedback reinforces successful strategies through formative assessment.