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Innovative math workshop gets grant to expand program

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A math workshop designed in upstate New York has received a $120,000 grant to advance the model nationally.

The Rochester Institute of Technology's annual Summer Mathematics Institute Teachers’ Workshop aims to share strong stories about math in the real world to high school teachers.

The workshops bring together teachers to hear how professionals use math in a variety of careers ranging from baseball to counter-terrorism, engineering and cancer research.

The hope is that as teachers tell students about those real-life examples more of them will consider careers in the STEM fields. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Director of RIT’s summer mathematics institute David Ross says when teachers know what kinds of careers math can lead to, it’s a good way to get students excited.

“Our idea is that if teachers stay apprised of the uses of the material that they’re teaching, they’ll be able to convey that to the students, you know, sort of hitting things at the top level. And that seems to be working well.”

The additional funding will be used to spread the program to three more universities next year, all still to be determined.

After that, Ross says he hopes it continues to expand across the nation

WXXI/Finger Lakes Reporter for the Innovation Trail