Digital Playground Exploring Mathematical Thinking
Polyup is a free digital programming environment—designed for mathematics and computer science classrooms—which translates abstract mathematical concepts and exercises into physical form. The gamifiedenvironment uses the building blocks of mathematics as its syntax so that it is accessible for a wide array of K–12 students. Polyup introduces and reinforces a range of skills, including problem solving, order of operations, sequences and series of variables, functions, computational logic, and algorithms. The environment capitalizes on students’ emerging interest in “modding,” or modifying the software and hardware of products (such as video games, toys, and robots) to change their functionality—by connecting their computational thinking skills to real-world modding applications. The flexible platform provides a variety of activities and exercises varying in length—from five minutes to one hour—which can easily be incorporated into the classroom environment. Polyup is developed by a team of mathematics and informatics education researchers and physicists with significant input from math teachers.
How deadly is the new coronavirus? And how does this pandemic compare to other infectious diseases? The New York Times Learning Network offers two classroom activities to help students apply media analysis techniques to the coronavirus outbreak.
Each fall at MIT, nearly 300 young female mathematicians in grade 11 or below compete in Advantage Testing Foundation’schallenging test of mathematical creativity and insight. The goal is to promote gender equity in the STEM professions and to encourage young women with exceptional potential to become mathematical and scientific leaders.