Math EXPO Project at BEMSby Amy Wenger on June 2, 2014
Lest anyone might think that students may have been inclined to "check out" a little early in anticipation of summer, Sabrina Wickens and her students at Bremen Elementary-Middle School were recently eager and willing to demonstrate that quite the opposite is true.
For the past several weeks, the 7th graders have been working on an extensive research project in which they became acquainted with, and developed an appreciation for, great icons and role models in the field of mathematics. Their discoveries were evident during the EXPO presentation that was held in the Bremen High School Lions Den on Wednesday, May 28. All in all, there were 44 scholars that participated in the project.
During the course of the EXPO, each of the students displayed exhibits in which they were dressed as the character whose lives and careers they were delving into. As they shared with the audiences all that they had learned about their subjects, they showcased various photographs, quotes, and other items, alongside copies of the finished essays. There were also interactive activities, such as the creation of math problems for guests to solve while they were visiting the various booths. The entire K-8 student body was invited to attend, as was the general community.
This was the first year that Wickens and her students have embarked on a lesson of this nature. "I am always looking for new ideas for the students. I believe this project allowed the students to see that every career uses math," Wickens said. "I was very accepting to any suggestion for the people they wanted to research. We had such a wonderful variety - Hypatia, Ben Franklin, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Martha Stewart, and Steve Jobs," she added, naming some of the individuals that were chosen.
Wickens noted that she had a great deal of assistance in composing the elements of this project, which she was inspired to take on after reading of one in a math journal. "Kacey Wright, the composition teacher, helped a great deal with the written portion of the project. She also teaches 7th grade, so we share the same group of students. She helped the students with the research and writing requirements." Also of valued guidance was the school librarian, Lori Nykiel. "She was great about pulling all of the resources from the school library for us to keep in our rooms for the project."