Daniell DiFrancesca

Wakefield Middle School
Wake County Schools
Mentor: Dr. Alan Karr, National Institute of Statistical Sciences
Sponsors: Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute, National Institute of Statistical Sciences

Critical Thinking in Science
The collaboration between this middle school teacher and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at SAMSI draws on the new center’s expertise in using both statistical and applied math to describe and study complex phenomena such as climate modeling, bioinformatics, HIV dynamics and nanotechnology. Ms. DiFrancesca’s work will help students develop and use critical thinking skills throughout each eighth grade science content strand. The inquiry-based lessons she is designing will lead students to create testable questions, design and perform experiments, and organize and analyze data. Current topics, local issues and real life situations are used to help students find deeper meaning in course materials.