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Culturally-Situated Design Tools


Found in: math, social studies, science, preK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Culturally-Situated Design Tools: Teaching Math and Computing through Culture  provides cultural background, tutorials, and software to help students in grades 1-12 learn math and computing principles as they reproduce original artifacts and create their own. Projects from African, African American, youth subculture, Native American, and Latino culture are featured. (Note: The website applets run best with Chrome and a screen resolution of 1024 X 768 or higher and require up-to-date java and flash plug-ins.)

Modeling Buckyball Molecules with African Hexastrip Weaves examines hexagonal weaving patterns used in Africa and other cultures. The activity shows students in grades 5-8 how to make Buckyballs with paper, tape, and scissors with video and print instructions.

Skateboarding provides an outline of skateboard history and explores the physics of skateboarding tricks. The resource includes a tutorial for two software packages, one that can be used outside the browser and another inside the browser. Teaching materials include lesson plans, a link to the Exploratorium’s Skateboard Science, and resources covering cultural aspects of skateboarding.

Virtual Bead Loom examines Native American beadwork and its mathematical concepts. Students learn about four-fold symmetry, beadwork past and present, and the use of a bead loom. A virtual bead loom simulates the grid pattern of a traditional bead loom. The resource has software for grades 1-3 and 4-12 and teaching materials for elementary and middle school.

Teaching Materials for Culturally-Situated Design Tools (CSDT) includes standards-based lesson plans, evaluations, and other materials.

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