Lesson on Famous Mathematician

Review of the Lesson /Geometry Honors

It has been a wonderful experience seeing the difference between having the students do this lesson by shall we say "old" way of the library versus the "new" method of using the internet.

The students are asked to write a 3-5 page paper on a famous mathematician, write a resume for this mathematician, an obituary and a baseball type trading card. They are now asked to search the net for a lesson in mathematics that their mathematician had something to do with. In the past I had never asked them to do this part of the lesson because of lack of material. But not any longer. For instance, if their mathematician was Pythagoras, they are to find a lesson on the internet about the Pythagorean Theorem and then teach this lesson( about 10 minutes) to the entire class. I have done this project in past by having them check out books at the school library, however this became a problem because the library only has so many books on this topic,so the students would became very frustrated about not being able to get the information they needed. Pictures of these famous mathematicians were not real easy to come by but now thanks to the internet they are easy to find. Many of the students did not know what a resume was so I would explain it to them . Now I am having them look on the internet to find examples of resumes. There is an excellent site that has many resumes for the students to view. In the past the papers, resumes, trading cards and obituaries have been very good and I have always been very pleased.

Now through new techonogical advances it is even better.Many of the students have not had any or very little experience with the internet so that in itself is a learning experience. As their Geometry teacher I feel honored that I can be the provider of this new experience for them. We spent 3 hours in the lab gathering material for this project. I had many of the sites already for them. We were able to download much of the information, pictures and even forms for resumes.. They were able to obtain so much material on their mathematician in a relatively short period of time. They were amazed at how much the internet has and how quickly one can access it if they know what to type in. Most of them picked up quickly on this procedure and were able to find at least one lesson that their mathematician was responsible for . The kids this age just soak this stuff up and how exciting it is to watch. I only did this project this year with a couple of students because it has been designed to be a first semester project and the students had already done this for this year. So I got a few volunteers to participate in this project. They all were so enthused and wished they could take Geometry over again in the fall. The projects that came in were excellent. These students learned 1.) How to use the net not just for my class but now for life. 2.) How to download material 3) What a resume is and saw many professional resumes on the net 4.) They were able to find lessons and connect that most of these ancient mathematician's discoveries are being used today on our highest form of technology. Seems almost ironical! 5.) they had to present their project to the class which gets them active in the learning process and gives them expense being in front of the class.

I can't tell you how excited I am to do this project next fall with both of my Geometry Honors classes. By using the new technology we have in our school these lessons just seem to be more exciting and interesting.


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