Since its inception the outreach side of the AIMS Center has focused upon two major initiatives: The AIMS Colloquium Series and The ZPC Podcast. These have been quite successful with both garnering appropriate attendance and listenership. However, we here seldom like to rest on our laurels. We are planning some significant pushes into both regional and broader-based organizations where we can support and influence the teaching of math and science.
First up is our connection to the Global Math Project. This international effort is being spearheaded through one person, the Mathematical Association of America’s Mathematician-at-Large, Dr. James Tanton. The AIMS Center has signed on as a partner with this organization as it prepares for its inaugural, worldwide event on 10/10/2017. I don’t want to give too many details of this yet, saving some of them for a podcast that is scheduled to air on March 9, 2017, but suffice to say the goals of the Global Math Project are audacious, uplifting, and joyful. Our role with them is growing already. I am serving in the role of Ambassador for them as well in other aspects of their organization.
Some of my goals for this coming year in Outreach are to start up some local chapters or affiliates to statewide teacher organizations in math and science. The larger organizations here provide professional development and support for their members. The local expressions of them are more about creating tight and beneficial networks for the support of the professionals in the classroom.
To support these and other efforts we will be creating a page on the Center’s website (www.aimsedu.org) that will describe these organizations and our own direct efforts. We hope to have this page launched by the end of March, 2017. Here you will be able to find links to these organizations and find news about meetings, gatherings, and other events. I favor informal local gatherings where colleagues can meet, share a light snack or dinner together, and discuss the work. So, you will be able to find information about those efforts on that page too.
I have recently begun an in-house weekly problem competition. It has been received well by everyone involved. Several “Rock Stars” have been awarded their weekly prize already. Chris Bennett, a member of the AIMS Creative Team, suggested expanding this challenge outside the walls of the Center. Watch for a coming attraction to the Outreach webpage for your opportunity to join in the fun. (There will be prizes awarded.)
In what other ways could The AIMS Center for Math and Science Education support teachers here in the Central San Joaquin Valley?