### Service Learning

Mathematics courses often have little practical application for solving problems in the real world. Service-learning helps to bridge this gap at the elementary, secondary, and higher education levels.  Service-learning in the mathematics curriculum provides a rich opportunity for students to learn while contributing to their communities.  Examples of mathematics service-learning experiences include tutoring, environmental data monitoring and analysis (statistics), building structures (geometry–slopes and angles), and designing transportation routes (discrete / combinatorial math). Some of the better examples I have seen are listed below:

• Through research, students discovered that other students and parents wanted to see more
activities available after school. These pre-algebra students teamed up with physical
education and AutoCAD classes to create an Ultimate Frisbee Course. Students worked with
a local golf pro to develop the course. They measured the 9 holes, developed a formula to
justify the value and difficulty levels of each hole (Par 3,4,5). After playing a series of
rounds, the students determined the course’s range of difficulties 1-9 and constructed scale
maps and scorecards.
• Due to the overcrowded nature of the parking lot, students counted the number of cars that
are used to drive students to school and the number of students per car. They set up a chart
of their school and asked the students what area they lived in. They created a graph of the
number of cars per students in each area and sent a report home with students encouraging
students and parents to carpool when driving students to school.
• After determining that the baseball field was in disrepair, geometry students made specific
recommendations on ways to improve the condition of the field, including erosion control on
a sloping hill.
• Students conducted a study of the traffic speeds in their downtown area. Using a speed gun
provided by the police department, students analyzed the speeding patterns of motor vehicles.
As a result, they asked selectmen for a traffic light to deter speeding. Their proposal was
accepted and a traffic light was put in.
• Geometry students were asked by 4
school. The map was needed so the 4
the community. The high school students used the geometry and measurement concepts that
they learned in class to develop an accurate map, one that indicated where each of the 4
th graders to map a nature trail behind the elementaryth graders could make a brochure of the nature trail forthgrade adopted trees was located.