A Seattle area dad called last week because his 12 year old daughter is bored in math. Local schools lack gifted education–he felt like they were on their own to find ways to challenge his daughter with interesting applications of math.They liked EPGY from Stanford but asked, “What’s next? He wondered, “Why aren’t there any cool application games like SimCity or Oregon Trail for older and more advanced students.” He heard about cool math classes for homeschoolers from Derek Owens but found out kids fax in their homework and thought, “Seriously?
He knew about all the game-based and adaptive K-8 resources I mentioned–Dreambox, Mangahigh, ST Math–and had been through them. I explained that pre-algebra had received most of the philanthropic and venture investment to date–and, to some extent, marks the end of creative thinking about math and its applications.
Algebra typically starts the high school course and credit system. Developers start thinking courseware and learning management systems. Online learning allows students to go faster but not necessarily deeper. I mentioned Mathalicious as an example of a site with lots of cool math applications. There’s also:
- Project Based Learning in the Geometry Classroom from Curriki;
- LEGO MINDSTORMS robotics;
- Project Lead the Way pre-engineering curriculum; and
- Navy STEM for the Classroom by Discovery Education.
Other promising vectors for academically precocious teens include:
- the maker movement (see There’s a Maker Faire in That iPad! 10 Ways to Create Student Makers With Apps;
- the DIY space (see Bring DIY.org to Your Students); and
- coding (see Experts Weigh in on K-12 Coding & CS Resources).
What would you add to the list?
DreamBox and MIND Research Institute are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. DIY.org is a portfolio company of Learn Capital where Tom is a partner.