Helping educators utilize Wolfram|Alpha in the classroom to enhance their lessons is one of our missions, and we love to learn about the creative ways teachers use Wolfram|Alpha.
One such example is Matt Arnold, a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teacher at Skiles Test Elementary in Indianapolis who started a Wolfram Math Club. The club consists of seven sixth-graders who meet twice a week to complete projects utilizing Wolfram|Alpha.
“As part of our STEM initiative, we have started some enrichment groups. I started thinking of going the math route, and I thought it would be neat to incorporate technology,” says Arnold. “Wolfram|Alpha was a great way to incorporate that.”
The club creates widgets, makes tutorial videos, plays around with WolframTones, and completes Wolfram|Alpha-themed scavenger hunts. They even created a Wolfram Math Club Tumblr page to document their progress. Here is an example of a song a student made in WolframTones, as well as one of the tutorial videos:
“I think as a STEM school, [Wolfram|Alpha] is a necessary tool that you need to have,” says Arnold. “A lot of teachers are just using typical search, and it is not practical. Wolfram|Alpha is a really practical and easy way to find info.”
One of the students’ favorite activities is creating widgets. Arnold explained that he has been using widgets to explain the concept of variables and how they relate to math. The students have enjoyed creating widgets dealing with country populations, Academy Award winners, and mixing colors:
Arnold hopes to incorporate the Wolfram|Alpha App for iPad and Wolfram Course Assistant Apps into the Wolfram Math Club in the future, as well as possibly using Mathematica.
Are you a teacher that uses Wolfram|Alpha in the classroom? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.