||Making Connections: Technology-Based Science Experiments for Teaching and Learning Mathematics
Using science experiments in different courses of mathematics helps ground students’ understanding of abstract mathematics concepts in real-world applications. Hands-on activities connect mathematics with science in a way that is accessible to teachers and students alike. Suggested experiments are designed for students taking different courses of mathematics from Algebra to Calculus. In addition, these experiments expose students to different roles of mathematics in science, usage of different mathematical techniques to verify results of experiments, applications of mathematical modeling, and development conjectures based on the results of the experiment that go beyond the scope of the experiment. This hands-on approach also allows students to use technology and different measuring equipment in mathematics classes. Real-life problems do not provide us with “nice” numbers. Students educated on sets of standard problems get accustomed to the fact that only “nice” numbers, usually integers, can be correct answers to the problem. Real practical problems give students an understanding that a number that is not very “nice” can be a correct answer to the problem. In addition to graphing calculators, experiments use the data interfaces such as Texas Instruments Calculator Based Laboratory, CBL2™, Vernier LabPro™, or Vernier EasyLink™ with different probes such as common science equipment, and basic tools. Described examples of such activities connect mathematics with science in a way that is accessible to teachers and students alike. Each activity explores a scientific phenomenon and connects it to mathematics concepts such as linear modeling, properties of cosine graph, and parametric differentiation.