AMES, Iowa -- Evidence from Iowa's Department of Education, the Regent universities, ACT and the College Board indicates that too many Iowa students struggle in their transition from high school to university-level mathematics. The Iowa Math Science Education Partnership, a collaborative of Iowa's three public universities, addressed the problem at a statewide faculty congress last November -- producing the "Iowa High Schools-to-Regent Universities Mathematics Transition Guide."
While the guide is a new resource to better prepare Iowa students for the rigors of university math, Iowa State University mathematics professor and chair Wolfgang Kliemann says teachers and students could use some practical help on how best to use it. That's why Kliemann and his Iowa State math colleagues have created Mathematics On the Road Experience (MORE) 2009 -- an informational program they plan to take to 10 Iowa Area Education Agencies (AEA) across the state next year.
"Publishing the guide was a good first step, but the teachers and students who use it need some practical assistance from university mathematicians to better prepare them for the curriculum they'll encounter at the Regent institutions," Kliemann said.
Faculty from both ISU and other institutions will work with teachers, students and parents to help them make connections between the mathematics core curriculum being taught in their schools and the way it is practiced on the university level, or in post-graduation careers.
MORE 2009 project coordinator Clifford Bergman, an ISU mathematics professor, has scheduled two-hour sessions in these 10 communities next year:
- Des Moines -- Jan. 26, Heartland AEA at Urbandale Public Library
- Pocahontas -- Feb. 23, Prairie Lakes AEA
- Cedar Falls -- March 30, AEA 267
- Ottumwa -- April 13, Great Prairie AEA
- Sioux City -- April 21, Northwest AEA
- Bettendorf -- May 18, Mississippi Bend AEA
- Dubuque- Sept. 14, Keystone AEA
- Council Bluffs -- Sept. 21, Loess Hills AEA
- Cedar Rapids -- Oct. 5, Grant Wood AEA, Kirkwood Community College
- Creston -- Nov. 9, Green Valley AEA
"We plan to provide materials to teachers to support their work in the classroom, tying their activities to the Iowa Mathematics Core Curriculum," Bergman said.
"We would like to address questions about how students should best prepare for the level of mathematics found at Regents universities," he said. "Parents and students will get the opportunity to discuss their concerns with a team of our advisors."
Starting times, addresses and additional details are available on the program's Web site at: http://www.math.iastate.edu/MORE2009/home.html.