The International Community of Teachers of Mathematical Modelling and Applications

http://www.ictma.net/

The International Community of Teachers of Modelling and Applications (the ‘Community’) is a membership organisation that exists to promote Applications and Modelling (A&M) in all areas of mathematics education – primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities.

Includes links to some resources and newsletters that might be of use to teachers who want to show how computers can be used to model physical systems.

Supporting teachers to use mathematical modelling and applications in their classrooms

http://www.lema-project.org/web/eu/tout.php

“This trans-European project is developing a major teacher training initiative to support teachers to use mathematical modelling and applications in their classrooms. The first pilot courses takes place in all partnership nations throughout 2008.”

Not much here yet but hopefully there will be some resources available soon.

Modular Test Vehicle for LEGO Mindstorms NXT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2v5eAAdj7Y

This project shows you how to build a Modular Test Vehicle (MTV) that can be easily reconfigured (changed) to use different wheel types, chassis layouts, and gear ratios. You can use this project to easily experiment with how different configurations affect the driving, turning, load carrying ability, accuracy, and consistency of the vehicle.

Free building instructions and downloadable programs at http://www.nxtprograms.com/MTV/index.html

Google pledges to fund charitable projects suggested by Google users

http://www.project10tothe100.com/index.html

Google is asking its users to submit ideas for ways to improve people’s lives. Google will choose what it feels are the 100 best ideas and then allow its users to vote on which of them should be funded.

The categories are:

Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures?
Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?
Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?
Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?
Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives?
Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?
Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?
Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don’t fit into any category at all.

Population Simulation with M&M’s

http://www.pbs.org/teachers/mathline/concepts/earthday/activity3.shtm\

If doing a lesson on modeling of physical systems, this might be a fun way to get started.

“This activity involves two simulations with M&M’s® to explore population growth and decay. The follow-up activity, Population Simulations with Calculators introduces NOW-NEXT or recursive equations as an accessible way to model this behavior and expand to other population models.”