San Diego, Calif. November 14, 2013 -- San Diego State University's Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education kicked off a new initiative funded by a four-year, $726,733 National Science Foundation-funded initiative with the Balboa Park Learning Institute last week.
The InforMath Collaborative is bringing together university researchers with staff from the Mingei International Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA), Reuben H. Fleet Science Center (Fleet) and Natural History Museum (theNAT) to design and implement new programs that connect visitors with mathematics in creative ways.
"Between now and mid-January, we'll be working collaboratively to design experimental public programs and activities that connect mathematics to the collections at MOPA and Mingei," said Molly Kelton, co-director of the InforMath Collaborative and CRMSE researcher.
"This is a unique and exciting opportunity for us to work closely with art and science museum professionals to try and change the way our community perceives mathematics, to conduct periodic analysis on our progress, and to ultimately establish a research center for informal mathematics learning in the park."
By mid-March 2014, the InforMath Collaborative will implement pilot projects for the public to participate in. CRMSE researchers will then review and analyze data from the pilot through September 2014, and prepare to launch a more extensive research and development lab including the Fleet, theNAT, Mingei and MOPA the following two years of the initiative.
"This is the first large-scale, multi-institution initiative of its kind giving mathematics, science and art professionals an opportunity to learn from each other and together come up with new and more expansive ways to draw the community into the park," said Lisa Silagyi, BPLI director.
"This will also give Balboa Park staff and San Diego STEM and art educators a new venue for professional development as well as new ideas to take back to the classroom."
Principal investigator Ricardo Nemirovsky and co-principal investigators Molly Kelton of CRMSE and Paul Siboroski of the Fleet will be leading the InforMath Collaborative.
The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE) is an interdisciplinary community of scholars who are advancing mathematics and science education at local, state and national levels. CRMSE supports collaboration between faculty in the College of Sciences and College of Education at San Diego State University. CRMSE members are engaged in research, curriculum development and dissemination, publications, presentations and leadership roles in the San Diego community. Visit the CRMSE website for more information.
About Balboa Park Learning Institute
The Balboa Park Learning Institute is a professional education program and learning community for staff and volunteers in arts, science, and cultural institutions. It was launched by the 27 member institutions of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership in 2008 as part of collaborative efforts to achieve greater organizational efficiency, innovation, and excellence. The Learning Institute is supported by a matching grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. For more information, visit our website.