Baylor Students Teach Waco ISD Students
This summer, Waco-area 6th- through 8th-graders have been on the football field, not to get rough and tough, but to see how Baylor’s Floyd Casey Stadium measures up dollar for dollar.
Students were there as part of Project STOMP (Summertime Travels Opening Mathematical Possibilities). Tasks included the million-dollar activity of taking a dollar bill and determining which of five different methods, such as covering the entire field or stacking the bills to the height of the press box, would result in the most money. Another activity was to determine how long it would take to sit in every seat in the stadium.
Project STOMP engages students and their teachers in mathematics and science concepts as articulated in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) state curriculum. Other math matters during the four days of activity included sloshing around in the lake, designing and constructing kites, and using the latest hand-held technologies and computers to explore the world.
The partnership is funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant program called GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), which ensures that students in the Waco Independent School District have access to rigorous courses that prepare them for college. One middle school student said, “I improved on my measuring skills. It became much easier for me because of all the activities using the tape measure.” In addition to the School of Education, the fun was made possible by the mathematics department, the Waco Wetlands Project, the Mayborn Museum, and Texas State Technical College-Waco.
School of Education graduate and undergraduate students provided supervision and instruction. Graduate student Matt Singleton said, “Project STOMP has provided me with an outlet to practice the things that I am passionate about as an educator and as a person of faith. … [It] has personally impacted my concepts of service, social responsibility, and community.” Undergraduate teacher education candidate Meredith Casas “was amazed to see these students using their math skills with the activities here at Baylor.”
While the Waco ISD students were exploring the community, their mathematics teachers attended the Summer Mathematics Teacher Institute on the Baylor campus. Working with many of the same group of mathematicians, educators, and scientists who planned Project STOMP, the teachers learned to incorporate technology-rich environments and develop engaging instruction for implementation during the academic year.
Visit the Web Extras for more pictures of STOMP activities.
Waco Tribune Herald "A Soggy Math Lesson" video clip