Well, it certainly has been an interesting experience at Bayer in RTP where I was fortunate enough to follow the product cycle during my three week internship program. Linnea (my fellow Kenan Fellow) and myself were able to meet with different Bayer experts from communications, marketing, sales, project managers, researchers and got to see basically every aspect of the product pipeline.
We ventured to the Innovation Center (where the desired genetic traits are identified and gene transformation occurs), the greenhouses, the Johnson Site (were products are tested), and safety labs (where products are studied for the human and environmental impact). Throughout this experience, I was able to make many connections to the math curriuclum that I will teach this year.
Connections Made (so far):
- Cost analysis of running a farm ⇔ systems of linear equations
- Pest populations ⇔ exponential and logistic models
- Soybeen seed and weight data collected ⇔data analysis and regression models
- Geometry of a beehive ⇔ tesselations and force vectors
- Scoring of leaf assays ⇔ area decrease rates
- Gene transformations ⇔ gene expression probability
- Application treatment residue decay (human safety) ⇔ exponential decay
I am sure there are many more connections that I will find as I continue to digest my experience. Although there are many connections there are some challenges in actually tieing in the material.
- Although there are math connections to curriculum, it may not be the curriculum for the classes that I am teaching this upcoming year.
- Math connections may exist, but the math is too rudimentary or advanced for high school students.
- Math connections are present, but it may be a stretch to make the actually connection to what they do at Bayer.
I am sure that there will be more to come.