NEEDED MATH PROJECT
About Us Needed Math is a three-year research and development project funded by the Advanced Technological Education Program of the National Science Foundation. The project will examine the alignment between the math that is taught at the community college level and what industrialists perceive as needed for technicians to be successful in the workplace.
of community college educators, and industrialists (technicians, and supervisors). The survey items represent math-rich tasks that are encountered in manufacturing settings. We will analyze the responses from both groups to determine what math concepts and skills are deemed most important for technicians―and to compare those to the topics that are covered in formal education.
Concentrating on manufacturing, we will learn about the math needed through virtual and inperson visits to companies during which we tour the facility, observe technicians at work, and talk to them and their supervisors about the math that they use on the job.
As an added benefit, we will develop scenarios based on the survey items to assist educators to demonstrate the practical utility of what might appear to be abstract math concepts to their students.
Based on these visits and other sources, we are developing a survey to be sent to a large sample
To disseminate and sustain our work and prompt conversations, we will share our results with eight Collaborative Working Groups across the country.
Welcome to our 1st issue: “The project will examine the alignment of the math that is taught at the community college level and what industrialists perceive to be needed for technicians to be successful in the workplace.”
If your company would like to help better prepare technicians to contribute to manufacturing industry needs and participate as a future site visit destination, either virtual or in-person, please contact Dr. Michael Hacker, (contact info on pg. 2) Manufacturing Technicians & Educators are invited to help us develop and review survey items. For more information, please contact Lois Miceli: Lois.M.Miceli@hofstra.edu
Beyond Vision and GenMet Our first site visits were held in Milwaukee, WI, where we Met observed and interviewed workers at two manufacturing companies: Beyond Vision and GenMet. Of the 120 employees of Beyond Vision, half are vision impaired. The company does metal machining and assembly of business supplies. The 39 employees of GenMet produce steel products including containers, display cabinets, and electrical enclosures. We began our visits to both companies with an early morning plant tour to orient our team to the space. We then broke into subgroups and observed technicians at work. During lunch we met with supervisory staff to clarify what we saw and seek more detail.
Technician at Beyond Vision
The afternoon was devoted to interviews with selected technicians. A major goal of the two visits was to develop a set of realistic survey items that will be included in the survey described on page 1. We truly appreciate the time and effort on the part of both Beyond Vision and Gen Met to host the site visits and the care and the warm welcome that they accorded us. We learned a great deal and know that both companies appreciate our efforts to ensure that manufacturing technicians will have the mathematical skills that industry needs.
A special note of gratitude to both Beyond Vision and Gen Met for hosting our first site visits.
CEO Mary Isbister, GenMet.
This material is upon basedwork upon work supported by the This material is based supported by the National Science Foundation under grant # 2100062. National Science Foundation under grant # Any opinions, and conclusions orand conclusions or 2100062.findings, Any opinions, findings, recommendations expressed in this material recommendations expressed in this are material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. the views of the National Science Foundation. Project #2100062