The Geometry Forum, supported by the National Science Foundation, is located at Swarthmore College outside of Philadelphia. It has been working for three years to develop a community on the Internet for people interested in geometry and other areas in mathematics.
There is a range of activities that the Geometry Forum supports: on-line archives of materials for teachers; on-going discussions of geometry and mathematics at various levels of teaching (K-12, college, research, etc.); email projects for student involvement such as Ask Dr. Math and the Problem of the Week; teacher training and support for using the Internet and using technology in the teaching of mathematics. The list continues to grow.
The Geometry Forum recently received funding from the National Science Foundation to undertake a year-long pilot project to explore the idea of a "Math Forum", an expansion of our current project. During a week long workshop in July, eight math teachers are who at home on the Internet met in Swarthmore, PA, to create materials and projects which take advantage of the World Wide Web and other multimedia, hypertextual technologies that support user-constructed environments. As the future of the Forum developes, we hope to integrate the many resources on the Internet in order to extend current curricula, classroom projects and professional development opportunities.
We would like to share interesting projects and examples of student work that presently exists on the Internet and evaluate whether these works represent a good direction and provide useful templates for the work we anticipate tackling in the future of our project. One over-arching question that we struggle with is whether the Internet and the vital interactions that can take place there can be an agent to for the improvement of education and the empowerment of students and teachers. It has been suggested that the Internet can be used as a means of educational reform from the bottom up.
David Weksler has been working with the Geometry Forum for the past two years to introduce teachers to the Internet and to give them continuing support in learning how to navigate the Net and to take advantage of its resources. He visits schools to introduce K-12 teachers to the Geometry Forum and educational opportunities on the Internet in general. Despite majoring in chemistry at Swarthmore College, David remembers enough mathematics to occasionally answer questions from the K-12 community. He enjoys reminding people that a soccer ball is actually a geometric shape (a semi-regular polyhedron, the truncated icosahedron) that Archimedes described over 2000 years ago.
The Geometry Forum
500 College Avenue
610 328 8225
610 328 7824 (fax)
Swarthmore PA 19081