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AlgebraLAB - Use Math To Solve Science Problems
Often in school subjects, particularly math and science, overlap. AlgebraLAB is designed to address the overlap between math and science by helping students apply their basic math skills to problems in science. This is done through lessons, practice problems and exposing students to real-world application of the skills.
Lessons have been created on multiple topics ranging from 3-dimensional geometry to vectors. Multiple lessons are featured under each topic. The lessons are fairly straightforward, containing an introduction, a mini lesson, guided practice and examples to solve.
Sample Midpoint Formula Lesson
While the format of the lessons looks like material students would find in a traditional textbook, the material is written in an accessible manner and multiple graphics are included to explain the topic.
Activities and Practice
The lessons are designed to help students review key skills and topics that are found in both math and science and while helpful, the real benefit to students comes through AlgebraLAB’s activities and practice opportunities. The site’s selection of activities is limited, but the activities it offers help teachers engage students in hands-on learning. For example, an activity on conic sections called “Thar She Blows!” has students time how long it takes the lid of a canister to blow off after combining various amounts of Alka Seltzer and water.
”Thar She Blows” Activity
In addition to hands-on activities, AlgebraLAB offers multiple word problems and passages designed to help students apply the skills they have learned while also building their critical thinking skills. The passages are one of the most valuable and unique parts of the website. They feature full-length informational passages describing a real-life problem or scenario. After reading a passage, students must answer questions that require them to use their skills and the information gained from the passage. These passages help students apply the skills they are learning to unique situations.
While AlgebraLAB contains a wealth of resources for teachers of math and science, it can be difficult to find information on the website. A search feature allows teachers to search for activities and lessons by math course, but not science courses. Teachers may also search by standard, but the standards are listed by codes for Florida’s state math, science and language arts standards, making that feature useless for teachers unfamiliar with Florida’s standards.
However, teachers of upper level math and science courses who know the topics they want to teach will not have as much trouble finding lessons, activities and word problems to use in their classrooms, provided they are available through AlgebraLAB. Their only complaint may be that there are not enough materials on the site. While some topics are loaded with lessons and problems, others only contain a mini lesson or two, making the website more of a supplemental resource than a go-to tool for lesson planning.
December 11, 2012 by Stacy Zeiger
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