Monday, September 19, 2016

Navajo math

Auckley planning a fun activity.
David Auckley, professor of mathematics at Kansas State, and Tatiana Shubin, professor of mathematics at San Jose State, co-founded the Navajo Nation Math Circles.

This project provides math activities and opportunities for K-12 Navajo students in the Southwest.

A documentary on this will be aired on PBS in September--check your listings.

Included in the outreach are visits by prominent mathematicians to schools, teacher workshops, a spring festival and summer camp.

Instead of paperwork, the project uses such tools as dice, Rubik's cubes, and puzzles involving traditional Navajo culture. It is a low stress, grade-free environment.

One lesson is you can keep playing even without finding the answer right away. A good life lesson.

The Navajos being served by this project live in the Four Corners area. Thirty percent have no telephone, 30% have no electricity, and 30% have no running water.

Yet, participants are succeeding in HS and going on to higher ed.

Now we need to do percentages--and lower those percentages of those without amenities. Maybe the kids who go on to college will have something to do with that.

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