Winter 2009 Issue


ATV Gives Impetus
To New Math/Science Curriculum

By Miguel Enriquez, KD7RPP

Edith, Sara, and José Velasco review
ham-radio/math-lesson presentation material prior to videotaping.

The successes that the Pueblo Amateur Radio and Underwater Robotics Club have had in past two years using ATV in the classroom provided some recent interesting developments for the way we teach math here at Pueblo Magnet High School in Tucson, Arizona. I had been approached earlier in the school year by Tucson Unified School Administrators who wanted to explore the possibility of designing a curriculum that would employ ham radio and other wireless technologies to teach math and science. What the administrators had in mind when they first proposed this new venture was extending to the general population the fun and advancements in math test scores the Pueblo ARC students were experiencing.

My initial reaction to their request was “I’m not sure how that would work.” However, as I thought about the possibilities, I realized that their request was not one of adding electronics to the existing math and science curriculum, but rather the request was for the creation of an entirely new curriculum. My first thought was to run to the internet to see if such a curriculum with specific references to state standards existed. There was none.

My second thought was to unashamedly copy someone else’s model; I found none. The best I came up with was a curriculum Mark Spencer, WA8SME, ARRL Education and Technology Coordinator, had written. That was very useful to me but lacked references to state standards. I next looked to see if anyone was making headway with the melding of ham radio with state standards. I had recently received an e-mail from a fellow ARRL Education and Technology Program Instructor, Nathan McCray, (K9CPO, in which he reported success with a proposal he had made to his own school district for the use of ham radio in the classroom. Nathan, an assistant principal with the Vion School District #6 in Wisconsin, had painstakingly juxtaposed amateur radio activities to Wisconsin State Standards in such a way that it made sense to a member of his school board.

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