Teach the Earth > Quantitative Skills > Community > Workshop 2002 > Overview



The development of strong quantitative skills should be an essential aspect of undergraduate education. Quantitative skills are taught in both mathematics and geoscience using different approaches and techniques. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together mathematicians and geoscientists to examine these two approaches and develop materials that advance the teaching of mathematics in a geologic context throughout the curriculum.

The specific goals of the workshop were

  • To explore effective methods for teaching skills such as estimation, representation, and modeling in a geoscience context
  • To explore the quantitative aspects of concepts that are integral to solving a wide variety of important geologic problems (e.g., mass balance)
  • To develop activities addressing key mathematical concepts in a geoscience context useful in both geoscience and mathematics classes
  • To identify effective strategies for teaching quantitative skills
  • To address collaboration between mathematics and geoscience faculty
  • To begin team projects that will extend the reach of the workshop

Participants left the workshop with

  • A summary of key quantitative skills, issues, challenges, and concepts
  • A collection of activities created by the participants
  • A list of effective strategies for teaching quantitative skills
  • Plans for ongoing projects and membership in an on-line discussion group

The workshop program engaged participants in meeting these goals by combining time for sharing, structured discussion, small group development of curricular materials, action planning, and informal interaction and conversations. Funded participants participated in discussion prior to the workshop to identify key issues and concepts, present a poster describing a successful experience teaching quantitative skills in context, prepare teaching materials during the workshop, and follow through with post-conference plans.

Planning team: Janet Anderson-Hope College, Heather Macdonald-College of William & Mary, Cathy Manduca-Carleton College, Margie Mason-College of William & Mary, Sam Patterson-Carleton College, Mary Savina-Carleton College, Susan Wood-J. Sargent Reynolds Community College