In July 2014, Elsa Medina and Amélie Schinck-Mikel held the third annual Cal Poly Math Academy for 10th-12th grade students from Santa Maria High School as well as students served by the region 18 Migrant Worker Program. The students spent a week on campus solving non-traditional problems designed to increase their interest in mathematics and build their problem-solving skills and confidence. The program aims to increase underrepresented students' interest in pursuing a career in STEM fields and to help them learn about college life and paths toward college entrance.
The program also involves high school teachers and Cal Poly students interested in teaching mathematics. Teachers have the opportunity to reinvigorate their love of mathematics and develop concrete strategies to implement the new California Common Core Standards for Mathematics.
Common Core Implementation
Danielle Champney, Elsa Medina and Amélie Schinck-Mikel held a workshop titled "Implementing Standards for Mathematical Practice" for middle school and high school teachers. The workshop focused on implementing the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.
Noyce Scholars Workshop
Todd Grundemeier and Elsa Medina offered two three-day mathematics workshops for Noyce Scholars — future mathematics teachers who receive National Science Foundation scholarships in return for a commitment to teach in a high-needs school district. The workshops provided an opportunity for these future mathematics teachers as well as scholars already in the classroom to discuss issues in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Bringing the scholars together also gives them chance to network so that they can support one another when they become teachers. Twenty-five scholars from Cal Poly and 19 scholars from other universities attended.
Amélie Schinck-Mikel published a research summary on the use of writing in middle school mathematics classes in support of the Association of Middle Level Education's This We Believe guidelines, which describe the characteristics of successful middle grades schools. These research summaries are meant to inform policy and practice at middle schools around the country.
Elsa Medina published a paper in the journal Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School titled Mathematical Explorations: Fun with Triangular Numbers.