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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Instructors get AMPED on Math in Saint Paul

Photo of group work in Carpentry Lab

Saint Paul College recently hosted an exhilarating week-long workshop from 
Contextual Learning Concepts called "AMPED on Algebra and Geometry in Construction." This revolutionary approach to teaching math highlights its value in real-life applications. AMPED stands for "Algebra Manufacturing Processes Entrepreneurship Design" and was founded in Colorado 15 years ago. Over 30 instructors from across the US came to Saint Paul for this unique training.

Photo of class in classroomThe Contextual Learning program combines construction and geometry with algebra in manufacturing and business to help illustrate the importance and applicability of math in real-life industries. The cross-functional training includes classroom teaching on geometry, algebra, entrepreneurship, design, and teamwork. It also provides opportunities for participants to work in teams to build a structure such as a playhouse or a sleeper cabin or to create a prototype to launch as a profitable business. Participants raved about the program and offered the following comments:

  • I use to hate math, but now that I understand its value, I realize its importance in everyday life;
  • I found the training to be rigorous and enjoyable, especially appreciating the teaching focus in challenging us to think bottom-line in how we solve problems;
  • I learned how to work with others in my team as we identified individual strengths and how to create the best outcomes effectively; and
  • This training taught me math from a different persp​ective that was relatable and useful in my personal and professional life.

Saint Paul College has a 110-year history of innovative teaching to help students learn critical concepts and skills valued in the marketplace. This training was a unique partnership with local public school districts, including Saint Paul, Red Wing, Waseca, and Saint Peter, and school districts from Kansas, Illinois, Washington, and Wyoming. This event was made possible through a generous grant provided by Carl D. Perkins. Miriam Shuros from Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) shared her thoughts on this invaluable partnership and value to the education arena:

“Saint Paul Public Schools is so thankful for the partnership and support of Saint Paul College for hosting this innovative learning opportunity connecting math to industry through hands-on design build projects. It was an amazing gathering of college faculty and high school math, tech, and visual arts educators all learning new ways to address the important question, 'When will I ever use this?' We are looking forward to bringing all that we have learned into our math classrooms and shops this year!" Miriam Shuros, SPPS Career Pathway Coordinator and Saint Paul College Carpentry Alum

Contact Miriam Shuros if you would like to be included in future training opportunities for educators or as an industry partner.

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