Bridging Math and the World

Light Bulb

We have all experienced one of those “light bulb” moments.  As a teacher, it is extra special to be able to witness one of your students experience this part of the learning process.  I was fortunate to observe one of my students having an “Ah-Ha” moment during the lesson I developed from my experience with Bayer over the summer.  While students were presenting their final products, one group got slightly different populations for their Aphids.  One of the students in the crowd was very puzzled as to how his group and the group presenting got different answers since they had the same data.  As the student was pondering this question and working it out aloud to the class, he all of a sudden said, “Wait a minute… I think I’ve got it.”  He proceeded to note that the equations they used were different.  The group presenting had used a continuous growth model, while his group had used a basic exponential growth model.  As soon as he said this he exclaimed, “duh… the population will grow continuously not discretely, we should have used the continuous model!” It was exciting to see this student go through this process aloud.  Although their group lost some points for not using a continuous model, he now has a better understanding of the differences between the two models.


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