Idaho Regional Mathematics Centers
Girls Build Excitement for Math from Scratch
An article about our Dig'nIT coding camp by Julie Amador and Terence Soule was recently offered as a free preview by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Mathematics Teaching in Middle School Journal. Read the story online or download the PDF version
Dig'nIT is a summer computer coding camp for middle and high school girls, aimed toward increasing both mathematical understanding and conceptual reasoning through the integration of mathematics and technology. Held in June, the camp offers programming activities in which students design and write interactive scenes and games with Scratch, a programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. The camp includes a closing Showcase Celebration during which the participants demonstrate and explain their final projects to community members.
The Dig'nIT program is the result of a partnership between the College of Education and the College of Engineering at the University of Idaho in collaboration with the Idaho State Department of Education and local businesses. It is made possible by the contributions of:
- Micron Foundation
- Verizon Foundation
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- Hewlett-Packard Development Company
- The Idaho State Department of Education
- University of Idaho, Coeur d’Alene
About the Idaho Regional Mathematics Centers
In an effort to carry forward and advance the work started with the Idaho Math Initiative, the State Department of Education partnered with Idaho’s Institutions of Higher Education using funding from the Idaho Legislature to support the Idaho Regional Mathematics Centers.
Through this coordinated, collaborative and comprehensive statewide effort, the Idaho Regional Mathematics Centers strives to ensure that Idaho’s mathematics teachers are highly talented, trained and effective professionals. Operating as regional support centers for all K-12 public schools in Idaho, the Idaho Regional Mathematics Centers provides professional development for teachers and schools and conducts research to support mathematics teaching and learning in Idaho.
The Regional Mathematics Centers are housed within the colleges of education at these four-year state institutions:
- Idaho State University
- University of Idaho
- Lewis-Clark State College
- Boise State University
Personnel at these centers work collaboratively with the Idaho State Department of Education, representatives from local industries and other faculty to ensure that the best possible support is provided to each region. Idaho is a geographically large state with many districts and schools located in remote, isolated areas; nearly two-thirds of Idaho is wilderness.
The diversity and geography associated with Idaho’s schools lends itself to a high need for a statewide system of regional support for ongoing professional support for all mathematics teachers. Providing localized centers with experts in mathematics education further supports the efforts made by teachers, school districts, and communities across the state.
The members of the Regional Mathematics Centers consist of the director, regional specialists, and teacher fellows, with experience in:
- K-16 mathematics education
- Professional development
- Instructional technologies
- Educational research
The members of the Regional Mathematics Centers provide both regional and school-specific support in mathematics education. They also welcome input from schools and districts about the type of professional development they need. By promoting mathematical thinking, problem solving and the habits of mind necessary for students to effectively understand and apply mathematics, the educational systems within Idaho are substantially strengthened.
About Region 1
The University of Idaho in Coeur d’Alene houses the Idaho Regional Mathematics Center in Region 1. The center is directed by Julie Amador, Ph.D., and supported by Regional Mathematics Specialist Abe Wallin, Ph.D. The intent of the center is provide professional mathematics support with content and pedagogy to K-12 teachers in Region 1.