AMP21’s innovative approach blends mathematics and real-world problem contexts to deliver an exciting new curriculum that improves students’ aptitudes and attitudes towards mathematics. Created by faculty from education, engineering, and business, AMP21 is designed to help students think critically and develop a problem-solution mindset, using algebraic modeling and probability in a project-based learning environment.
When we say real-world, we actually mean real-world…
All too often, problems from middle and high school mathematics books speak of “real-world” problems, but really they describe nothing more than what can be seen or touched or simply measured. Textbooks still use contexts that would have been equally relevant 150 years ago. They compare heights and shadows of people and flagpoles. They are filled with diverse people and/or vehicles traveling at different speeds who are either on a path to collide or pass.
Our approach is to design decision contexts that have current relevance. As a result, the contexts offer opportunities for students to discuss aspects of the problem beyond just how to find the one right answer. Middle schoolers may work on a multi-faceted plan of chores in order to earn enough to buy a hot new game. High school students use quantitative analysis to choose a wireless plan, select a college, buy a used car, or purchase insurance plan. Outside of personal decisions, students are introduced to decisions involving running a kite making business, making healthy choices for food, maximizing profits of diverse products, or scheduling patients in a medical clinic.To develop applied mathematical modeling skills, problem contexts must be authentic. At AMP21, we strive to develop problem contexts that:
- Have clear connections to the real world.
- Someone has used the approach to solve a similar issue.
- Require more than a few minutes to solve.
- Do not restrict numbers, whether givens or solutions, to integer values.
- Allow student collaboration, and require student reflection on the problem and its solution.
By defining authentic problem contexts in real-world terms, the application to real life is simple. Our problems are designed to encourage student consideration of a myriad of different professions, all of which can be improved through mathematics.
Whether you wish to run a full year course, or even to place some of our unique problems into your current course, AMP21 has solutions for you. Liven up your classroom with problems that inspire critical thinking, decision making, and discussion through a project-based learning approach to mathematics.