Sherwood Park, AB. — Students and staff throughout Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) are spending the week celebrating numeracy with the Week of Inspirational Math. From March 15-19, schools across the Division are hosting daily math activities, games and hands-on learning exercises to help promote an understanding and appreciation of math among students. The style of activities will vary among different grade levels—all promoting the idea becoming successful in math class is fun, engaging and achievable for everyone.
This year, organizers are adding yet another aspect to the week: local participants who will talk to students about the everyday application of math in the world of work. Presenters represent the fields of medicine, engineering, farming, restaurant management, science, architecture, skilled labour and many others.
“We want to show students math is more than just a series of concepts—it’s used in a very practical sense by a wide range of professions,” says Ryan Marshall, Director, EIPS Supports for Students. “People from our community will engage with students virtually and share real-world examples of how math is used to do their jobs.”
The Week of Inspirational Math is an annual event inspired by the work of Jo Boaler, a Stanford University professor and expert in math education. Boaler is a champion of the growth-mindset, an integral part of the Week of Inspirational Math. Rather than focusing on whether the answer is right or wrong, the growth-mindset promotes the idea the most important part of numeracy acquisition is the ability to learn from your mistakes, push forward and challenge yourself to reach greater heights as a learner.
“A growth-mindset is also an important skill for industry. Every day, our employees solve challenges using math and it’s these logical skills that help them be successful. It’s a practical skillset used to help inform decisions on everything from budgeting to solving complex engineering challenges,” says Catherine Costin, Dow site director, Alberta Operations. “Our goal is to help develop tomorrow’s innovators by promoting not only math but also science, technology and engineering. Our employees are honoured to be connecting with students during the Week of Inspirational Math.”
The generous assistance of large corporations, local businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the Division will help students make important connections between what they’re studying and the impact it will have on their lives going forward.
“I’m sure we’ve all heard students ask, ‘Why do I need to know this? I’ll never use it after I leave school.’ By pairing the appreciation of math with an understanding about how it applies in the workplace, we’re able to address that question in a way that enlightens and excites students as they learn,” adds Marshall.
EIPS is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,100 students in 43 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties, and the western portion of the County of Minburn.
For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902