Another fun Pi Day celebration at NMJC!

More than 2,000 children, adults, and students attended New Mexico Junior College’s annual Pi Day Fair and Celebration this year! Hundreds of volunteers made the event possible, including NMJC instructors and students; a local motor cycle club; Hobbs Rotary; bridge players from Odessa, Midland, and Carlsbad; about 30 high school students; and even two elementary students. Generous support from local organizations and businesses ensured attendees had plenty of fun activities, prizes, and treats to celebrate Pi Day with a bang.

“Pi Day was SENSATIONAL!” reports the event’s head organizer, Professor of Mathematics Shyla McGill. One of the many reasons the celebration was so sensational is that it connects math to real-world scenarios and so many different subject areas. The day included “lots of fun, lots of science and math, some music and history. The community LOVES Pi day; it was a blast!”

You can tell just from the photos that everyone who attended had fun while learning. Activities included story time, Mobius strip building, a maze in the shape of pi, and calculations involving finding the volume of chocolate bars and crackers and finding the length and time it takes to make a pendulum swing. The Music Department had two booths that included activities on sound waves. The history of the food pie and the number pi was included in the day as well.

Hawkes was honored to be part of this year’s event. Training & Support Specialist Rebecca Craig enjoyed working with the children in the community and showing them how to make Cartesian divers at an activity booth.

 

Check out the fun in some of the photos below!

Want to see more of the fun? Biology instructor and filmmaker Brittany Gale created a video highlighting the events of the day:

Find Funding for Your Tech Initiatives

Have a fantastic idea for your class that involves technology, but you and your school don’t have the funds? Unfortunately, that’s a common problem. Fortunately, several grant opportunities exist!

Kajeet, a service that helps students access internet outside of school to complete their homework, provides a list of 99 federal technology funding resources for 2017.

This list includes national grants for which educators from any state can apply, and the report also provides information on state-specific funding options.

Check out the grant opportunities Kajeet lists here.

Learning assessment expert and author Dr. Nolting interviews AMATYC president Jane Tanner

AMATYC is just around the corner, and we can’t wait for that educational, fun-filled conference! Before we head out for the special event, we wanted to let you know that our friend and national expert in assessing math learning problems and developing solutions, Dr. Paul Nolting, interviewed AMATYC President Jane Tanner on his blog, http://www.academicsuccessblog.com/.

Dr. Nolting assesses math learning problems, develops effective student-learning strategies, and assesses institutional variables that affect math success and math study skills. Over the last 25 years, he has consulted with over 100 colleges, universities, and high schools campuses to improve success in the math classroom. He is the author of Winning at Math, which is the only math-specific study skills book to offer statistical evidence demonstrating an improvement in students’ ability to learn math and make better grades.

In his interview, Dr. Nolting asks the AMATYC president questions that strike a chord with all developmental math instructors today. He touches on key topics and starts out by asking Professor Tanner how she sees the current state of developmental mathematics at the national level. Professor Tanner replied:

My opinion is that it is in a state of flux. That is my opinion, not necessarily that of AMATYC or anyone else. A lot of colleges out there know we need to change what is currently being done, because the current success rate in developmental mathematics is not very great for students. These schools know something needs to be done—these are the forward thinkers that are willing to try new things and take risks. There are others out there who want to continue to do the same old things, because that is what they are used to, and they are not as willing to take risks. My opinion is that you need to be willing to try something different. You need to keep in mind what is best for your school and students, not what is easiest for you…

Later in the interview, Dr. Nolting asked, “How do you think institutions should go about choosing a new design, or, for that matter, what should institutions do if they are torn between different designs? How do we avoid chaos as pride and conviction inevitably seep into this process?”

Below is an excerpt of Professor Tanner’s response:

You need to research what is out there. You can visit other schools that are using a certain method that might work for you, or attend the AMATYC and NADE conferences where there are other people going through things that you may be going through. There are a lot of different models out there, all in addition to the pathways focus. What needs to be done is that you spend enough time investigating so that you choose the best thing for your college—but you can’t necessarily take forever to do it, because then you aren’t accomplishing anything either.

Read part one of the interview here!


 

Interested in learning more about math study skills? Check out the webinar from Dr. Nolting and Hawkes’s own Emily Judy for tips and resources.

 


Nolting, Paul. “Dr. Nolting Interviews Jane Tanner, president of AMATYC: Part One.” Academic Success Blog,  www.academicsuccessblog.com/blog/interview-with-jane-tanner-president-of-amatyc-part-one. Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.

Paint by Numbers: Red, White, and Blue!

The statue of a cougar at the College of Charleston has a red, white, and blue plastic top hot and star necklace.

The Fourth of July is quickly approaching, and we’ve found some interesting stats about the holiday!

The History Channel provides fun historical information and eye-opening stats concerning Independence Day. For instance, did you know 13 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were aged 35 or younger?

If you’re among the 80% of the country’s population that attends a cookout, picnic, or barbecue on the holiday, you might eat a hot dog or two (or veggie dogs for those of you who are vegetarians!). However, you’re probably not going to come close to the record of eating the most hot dogs in 10 minutes, since that record is 68 hot dogs! Yup, you read that correctly: 68 hot dogs…with buns. I’m guessing that person needed some antacids after the contest.

Check out the fun infographic from the History Channel here, then let us know how you incorporate the holiday into your summer math courses in the comments below!


Fourth of July by the Numbers. n.d. History of St. Patrick’s Day. HISTORY. 30 June 2016.

Hawkes’s mastery approach to learning on par with golf’s “deliberate practice”

Geoff Colvin’s article on Golf.com, “Missing ingredient to lower scores is something called deliberate practice,” explains how anyone can get better at golf by putting in the time and effort to do so. Most of the techniques he mentions apply to Hawkes Learning’s concept of mastery.

Colvin teaches us in his article that deliberate practice is highly personalized, pushes you a little past your current abilities, is repeated many times, and requires constant feedback that’s personalized to you (Golf.com).

Sound familiar? Well, it’s probably because Hawkes encourages students to take advantage of deliberate practice! If students don’t complete the Certify (the credit-bearing part of the lesson) with enough correct answers, they are led to a practice session personalized to their needs based on the questions they keep missing. It pushes students to keep trying and learning beyond what they already know. And that constant, specific feedback? We’ve got students covered.

 

Read the full Golf.com article and let us know in what other ways you think golf can be compared to education in the comments below!


Colvin, Geoff. “Missing ingredient to lower scores is something called deliberate practice.” Golf.com. Golf.com, n.d. Web. 16 June 2016.

Online students can take advantage of their support services with these 4 tips

Not being on campus can make some things extra difficult for students. If you’re an online student who’s not sure how to get the answers to questions about admissions, future courses, and other necessary items, take a look at Bradley Fuster’s tips on using your support services!

In his U.S. News article, Fuster points out 4 things online students can do as soon as they have questions:

  1. Gather the information all in one place. Most departments and offices have their own email addresses and phone numbers, so take the time to write down this information and the hours of operation.
  2. Record specific information of the people you’ve contacted or need to contact. Get the names and contact information of the people you’ve called to help you. When you find out whom you need to contact for further information, take down their information and best times to call. Fuster also recommends you “document your service need by sending an email from your university email account following your phone conversation” (U.S. News).
  3. Leave voicemails. If you call during an office’s busy hours and they can’t pick up, don’t hang up! Leave a voicemail with your name, contact information, and question so they can get back to you.
  4. Keep asking for help, and of course do it nicely! You sometimes might not get answers right away, so keep pushing until you do. 

Check out the fully explained tips from U.S. News here!


Fuster, Bradley. “4 Tips for Using Support Services as an Online Student.” U.S. News. U.S. News, 6 June 2016. Web. 7 June 2016.