Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education (MIMAUE)

Mathletics

mathletics students

 Camp dates: July 11- July 29, 2022

Time: 9:00am - 3:00pm

Applications open: March 30, 2022

Mathletics is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and designed to immerse middle grades youth (current 6th, 7th, & 8th graders) in the rapidly growing world of sports data analytics and build their knowledge of statistical concepts and the data science process. The program is particularly focused on engaging African American and Latinx youth, in an effort to deepen their STEM knowledge and introduce them to STEM fields. Mathletics is a year-long project with three components: (1) Sports Data Analytic Saturdays which occur 4 - 8 times during the academic school year, (2) Spring Summit which is a day-long experience for participants and their families to see the student research projects, and (3) a daily, 3-week summer camp hosted at both the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and Coppin State University in Baltimore, MD. At UMCP the program is hosted under the Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education (MIMAUE) and the Center for Math Education in the College of Education at UMCP.  At Coppin State University the program is hosted under Mathematics and Computer Science department.

Activities are led by faculty from UMCP and Coppin, local county teachers and undergraduate students majoring in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) field. Students not only learn practical skills, such as how to collect data and perform statistical analysis of the data but also engage in an end-of-camp, personal statistics project in a field of interest to them. One camp, hosted with 50 kids at each location - UMCP and Coppin. Each campus will expose their students to campus recreational activities, athletic coaches, and data collection.

 

NSF Logo

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1906736.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

UMD Mathletics began in the Summer of 2013 as a program to increase the interest and confidence in mathematics and statistics for Black male adolescents. As we reviewed the math achievement data for Black boys across the state of MD, who were in the 4th grade through 7th grade, we noticed that test scores dropped by 24%. When we looked at local school district data, the drop in achievement was much greater.

At the time, there was much discussion about how to make academic content relevant and responsive to adolescent Black youth. Several scholars promoted culturally responsive pedagogy as a way to engage students in academic subjects. As we observed Black males that we knew, we realized that Black boys seemed to be more excited and interested in socially relevant issues, such as sports. Why not use a topic that interests them as a hook to learn about introductory statistics as it relates to professional athletes. 

 

 

Over the next six summers, UMD Mathletics expanded through enrollment and engagement of female adolescents and engaged approximately 120 middle school students (Mathletes). During the camp, Mathletes engaged in mathematics and  statistics lessons contextualized in sporting contexts and sports performance data. Mathletes also played sports and collected data on their sports performance. In an effort to provide models of successful  minority STEM professionals and college students, UMD Mathletics instructional staff consisted of a diverse  instructional staff and minority students majoring in mathematics, data science, engineering, or computer  science. For four summers, NSF-funded UMD Noyce Scholars and Interns served as instructional support  staff for UMD Mathletics. Funding for the initial years of the project was secured through grants from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), National Security Agency (NSA), and Tegna Foundation.

Across the six summers, 90% of Mathletes showed improvement in their mathematics and statistics competence as measured by project assessments, with some increasing their performance by more than 30%.  Students worked successfully in teams and found that the experience helped to reinforce learning. Over  the six summers, pre and post-assessment instruments and surveys were refined to better assess  Mathletes’ statistics and data science competence and assess Mathletes’ perceptions of statistics.   

In 2019, the project team secured 1.7M in funding from the National Science Foundation to support and expand UMD Mathletics in the following ways: 1) increase contact time with Mathletes through year-round activities, 2) increase reach by adding Coppin State University (Baltiimore, MD) as a project site, and 3) conduct research on project’s impact. The COVID pandemic disrupted the proposed project calendar and schedule.  Programming is scheduled to resume in Summer 2022.

Lawrence Clark

Dr. Lawrence M. Clark

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor, University of Maryland, College Park

Center for Mathematics Education

Dr. Lawrence M. Clark is the Principal Investigator for the Mathletics Research Project. He is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Maryland Center for Mathematics Education. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Hampton University, M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees from Emory University. Prior to joining the Maryland faculty, Dr. Clark was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Proficiency in Teaching Mathematics at the University of Michigan. While at the University of Michigan, Dr. Clark was a member of the research team for BIFOCAL, a professional development project designed to enhance middle grades teachers’ capacity to select and facilitate cognitively demanding mathematics tasks.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Michigan, Dr. Clark served as the National Director of Mathematics for Project GRAD USA, a national school reform initiative in several urban school districts. Dr. Clark is currently PI of the NSF-funded University of Maryland Noyce Math Scholars Program and co-Pi of the University of Maryland Noyce Science Scholars Program. Dr. Clark is also currently a Research and Development Fellow for the NSF-funded TheMAT project (Dan Chazan and Patricio Herbst, PIs). 

Dr. Clark has experience as a mathematics teacher educator in the U.S., Ethiopia, Ecuador, and Kenya. From 1992 – 2000 Dr. Clark taught middle school mathematics in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Clark’s research interests focus primarily on examining and exploring influences on teachers’ mathematics instructional practices in schools with a history of low achievement. These influences include teachers’ mathematical knowledge, teachers’ beliefs, and teachers’ explicit and implicit biases. Dr. Clark has also written book chapters and journal articles focused on the role of African American mathematics in the lives of African American mathematics learners.

 

StephanieTimmonsBrown_headshot
StephanieTimmonsBrown_headshot

Dr. Stephanie Timmons Brown

Co-Principal Investigator

Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Maryland, College Park

Director of Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education

 

Dr. Stephanie Timmons-Brown has worked in education for more than two decades. She is currently a Clinical Faculty and Director of the Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education at the University of Maryland. Through research, teaching, and practice, Dr. Timmons-Brown has improved the opportunities for students who may have been negatively impacted due to societal challenges related to race, linguistic diversity, gender, ethnicity, and social class.

Over the last 15 years, Dr. Timmons-Brown has been instrumental in securing more than 20+ grant awards amounting to millions of dollars raised to confront a range of issues affecting minority students. Recently, Dr. Timmons-Brown secured a $1.7M National Science Foundation grant to investigate how a STEM-focused intervention understand how URM students can negotiate the tensions of an athletics and STEM identity, supporting minority children in forming their senses of selves in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) during their middle school years.

Dr. Timmons-Brown is a champion of cultural sensitivity and awareness, having been awarded the Outstanding Unit Award from the President’s Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues, the Community Excellence Award and Vanguard Award from the Maryland State Department of Education, and the 2021 College of Education Excellence in Community Outreach and Partnership Awardee in recognition of her outstanding work. Dr. Timmons-Brown invites connections with those who share her passion for family, community, and educational empowerment.

wmccoy - wanda mccoy.jpg
wmccoy - wanda mccoy.jpg

Dr. Wanda McCoy

Assistant Professor

Coppin State University

Department of Mathematics and

Computer Science

 

Dr. Wanda McCoy is an Assistant Professor in the Mathematics and Computer Science department at Coppin State University (CSU). She discovered, late in life, her passion for teaching, for teaching mathematics in particular. Dr. McCoy obtained a BS degree in Early Childhood Education from CSU and went on to Illinois State University to obtain her MS in Mathematics Education. After graduating, she taught elementary school for five years. She taught in Baltimore city for four of the five years during which she feels fortunate to have been able to co-teach second and third grades. This enabled her to teach only Math and Science to students who then traveled to another classroom for Language Arts and Social Studies. Co-teaching afforded the opportunity to concentrate on the delivery of research-based effective instructional practices in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science. Dr. McCoy pursued her terminal degree with the goal of reaching more than 2 classrooms of students per school year by positively affecting the mathematics education of pre-service elementary teachers. She obtained her PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research includes mastery of basic math facts, integrated learning, and incorporating mindfulness as a tool to decrease math anxiety.

 

  • Mini sports combine for students where students engage in various sporting events, followed by performing statistical measurements on their times and measurements compared to other Mathletes
  • Field trip to Washington Mystics basketball game where students collect statistical measurements of professional basketball players, followed by comparison of their measurements to those taken by the professional statisticians of the teams playing
  • Recreation time at the TerpZone in the Stamp Student Union on campus at UMCP (including playing ping pong, bowling, and arcade games)
  • Golfing lessons at the University of Maryland Golf Course directly adjacent to campus
  • Trip to UMCP basketball arena Xfinity Center
  • Interactions and presentations from UMCP athletic coaches and faculty on the importance and use of mathematics in athletics and coaching
  • Gather and analyze survey data from UMCP students at the Stamp Student Union

Tameka Johnson, Parent 2017 Cohort

Kimerly Williams, Parent 2017 Cohort

 

Below are some of the past comments made by students who attended Mathletics:

  • “This is the best camp I’ve ever been to in my life.”
  • “We learned about math, statistics, and charts.”
  • “I learned there are different ways to collect data and analyze it.”
  • “There are different steps to collect data: gather, analyze, explain, shapes of distribution.”
  • There are two different types of data: quantitative and qualitative”
  • “Saw first hand how we can use statistics.”
  • “Taught in a fun way.”
  • “The distributions were new to me, and I learned what type of graph is for [different] types of data.”

Below are some results from our survey to parents whose children attended Mathletics:

  • Almost all parents cited academic reasons, such as increasing mathematical knowledge and confidence in mathematics, as the most important reasons to let their children participate in the camp.

  • 100% would recommend Mathletics to parents with eligible students.

  • Since all the parents responded either strongly agree or agree to the statement “My child seemed to have gained mathematical knowledge as a result of being in this camp” it can be concluded that their main expectations were met by the camp.

  • More than half of the parents also thought that their children enjoyed learning statistical and mathematics concepts the most.

MATHLETICS IS HIRING for 2022-2023!

Statistics/Mathematics Instructors: The Mathletics Program is looking for two enthusiastic instructors to work with our mathletes over the summer and 8 Saturdays throughout the school year. We are hiring a total of two instructors. This comes with a generous stipend, excellent professional development, and the opportunity to help bring math alive through sports. Learn more...

Undergraduate teaching assistants: Undergraduate students studying STEM, STEM Education, or a related field will find our summer program a very great fit for summer work opportunities. We are hiring undergraduate students to assist our statistics instructors in teaching math concepts through sports. Four teaching assistants will be hired at our College Park site.  Learn more...

NOTE: There are also Mathletics positions available at Coppin State University. For more information please contact Dr. Wanda McCoy, Co-Principal Investigator at wmccoy@coppin.edu.

 

APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 2022 - 2023

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Mathletics program. You can apply to participate in the year-long Mathletics program by using our application link: apply here

Mathletics is open to students currently in grades 6, 7, or 8. Application is required, must participate for the entire academic school year. There is a $100 refundable registration cost to participate.

2022-2023 Cohort Dates

  • Applications: April 2022 - May 2022
  • Notification of Acceptance: May 2022
  • Camp: July 11, 2022 - July 29, 2022 M-F 9:00am - 3:00pm
  • Sports Analytic Saturdays (9am-1pm): Sept 10, 2022, Oct 8, 2022, Nov 5, 2022, Jan 21, 2023, Feb 18, 2023, Mar 11, 2023, April 29, 2023
  • Spring Summit May 2023 9:00am - 2:00pm

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PAST YEARS OF MATHLETICS

2020-2021 Cohort Dates: There will not be a 2021-2022 cohort 

NO COHORT

2019-2020 Cohort Dates

  • July 2019
  • Sports Analytic Saturdays October 2019, November 2019, January 2020, March 2020
  • Spring Summit May 2, 2020 9:00am - 2:00pm

For more information call 301-405-6264 or 301-405-5211 or email mimaue@umd.edu