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SUNY Fredonia Hosts Family Math, Science Night

SUNY Fredonia students, Kass Howard and Ronny Nissen, award the grand prize champions in the Trebuchet “build off.”

Washington Middle School recently held a very successful Family Math & Science Night with the help of 14 senior SUNY Fredonia Department of Mathematics Education students. Over 100 people attended having a great time combing math, science and fun activities such as Leaf it to Me, Candy Corn Castle, Freaky Fast Fraction Makeover, Gourd-geous Trebuchets, We All “Fall” Down and Four Pun’kins in a Patch.

As part of their Fredonia Math/Science Methods class the students had to develop a unique station idea, prepare the materials and implement the curriculum — precisely the kinds of activities they’ll do as future teachers. They created six activities that required families to apply their knowledge of math, science and engineering in creative ways. For example, Leaf it to Me had families break up into teams to practice math skills by playing in a pile of “leaves.” Each team received a math question and everyone threw the leaves into the air. The teams work together to solve the question, find the answer in the pile of leaves and then “rake up” the leaves. Each station was interactive and used teamwork to help students and their families bond over math.

“There’s no better way to refine your craft than to take part in authentic instructional opportunities like a Family Math/Science Night,” said Dr. Keary Howard, Professor Mathematics Education at SUNY Fredonia. “It’s a perfect opportunity for us to develop and implement engaging curricular materials. Better yet, it allows me to witness firsthand why these pre-service teachers will be successful in their chosen field. The ride back to Fredonia is the best part as they discuss how impactful their station was and what changes they would make if they had a chance to use it in their future classrooms.”

Washington Middle School’s Family And Community Engagement committee held the event. Teacher Rachel Frisbee, a SUNY Fredonia graduate, and Washington Instructional Coach Priscilla Menzies helped organize the night and it was a perfect opportunity to engage with families in a fun way.

“This was such a great event last year and families were excited about coming back this year,” said Menzies. “SUNY Fredonia does such an amazing job organizing, that makes it a fun night for everyone. When we can open up our building to our families and have kids begging their parents to come to school, we know we have a winner.”

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