Program pairs math and trades

AUGUSTA — Nearly 20 teachers of precision machining, welding, building construction and other trades have spent 10 days over the past school year paired up with middle- and high-school math teachers.

They’ve spent their time together working to more closely integrate math concepts into lessons offered by instructors at Maine’s career and technical schools.

The goal?

Improve students’ math achievement by embedding academic concepts like the Pythagorean theorem into the applied, hands-on lessons offered in trades like building construction and welding at the career and technical schools.

The teachers who participated in Maine’s first year of the Math-in-CTE Program celebrated their collaboration May 13 at an afternoon banquet that featured demonstrations of lesson plans developed as a result of collaboration among math and career-and-technical teachers.

The organizers of the Math-in-CTE Program in Maine hope to see the program grow during the 2011-12 school year, expanding to career and the technical trades of automotive technology and culinary arts.

The Math-in-CTE model is one that’s in use in states across the country. Data from the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education show that students participating in lessons developed through the Math-in-CTE program earned higher TerraNova and Accuplacer scores than their classmates who didn’t have similar experiences.

The Maine Math-in-CTE program is recruiting math and career-and-technical teachers to participate in the coming school year. The program involves 10 days of professional development: five during the summer and five during the academic year.

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