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PTI Seminars 2010

Physical Mathletics (Physics of Sports)

We will explore the physics of some select sports, such as football, swimming and skiing/hockey (and whatever other sports the participants bring in!). We'll start from scratch and discuss the basic physical principles upon which any discussion of sports physics must be based. Course modified to previous background in math or science.

This seminar will be open to 6-12 science and math teachers, as well as to teachers of health education at any grade level.

Forensic Chemistry 

A forensic chemist is a professional chemist who analyzes evidence that is brought in from crime scenes and reaches a conclusion based on tests run on that piece of evidence. A forensic chemist's job is to identify and characterize the evidence as part of the larger process of solving a crime. Evidence may include hair samples, paint chips, glass fragments, or blood stains. Understanding the evidence requires tools from many disciplines, including chemistry, biology, materials science, and genetics. The prevalence of DNA analysis is making knowledge of genetics increasingly important in this field. (From ACS)

The level and topics in this seminar should make it open to all interested teachers.

Social Justice Seminar

In an era that is focusing on intense efforts to improve students’ scores on standardized tests in reading and math, the development of students’ social conscience is falling short.  By leaving this area untapped begins to create a mindset in our young people that social injustice is an accepted way of life.  Given that there are various literary works that address the theme of social justice, it is imperative that we create curricula designed for students to do the following: 

  • Examine what it means to be a citizen
  • Understand what it means to take action on local, national, and international issues to further the public good; and
  • Communicate effectively to promote social justice efforts

This invaluable coursework would target closing the seldom recognized “social responsibility” gap that we are experiencing in education today.

Media Math

Explore mathematics in the context in which your students find it and where they spend most of their time—the popular media!  By examining television shows, movies, advertisements, music, the internet and the printed page you will discover ways to motivate your students as well as make math relevant to their everyday lives.   We will look particularly for algebraic applications as they occur, and use a symbol system for real-life experiences while employing a mixture of problem solving techniques. Additionally, we will consider ways to scrutinize the various forms of communication by cultivating the art of posing problems, and by utilizing and refining the inquiry approach to mathematics.  At the conclusion of the session you will have a new grasp of the practical purposes and processes of mathematics, and will be able to answer the eternal question, raised by your class, “When will we ever need to use this?”

Africa Rising: How the Poorest Continent is Surviving and Thriving

Africa is a diverse continent of 53 countries but the continent shares some common issues of political and economic development.  While we will place contemporary Africa in the context of its history, the seminar will focus on current issues of African economies and the politics of how to achieve economic development.  We will read some books in common:  Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo ( 2009) and Africa Rising by Vijay Mahajan (2008).  Then Fellows will pursue their own areas of interest in Africa and present both content and curriculum to the seminar.  At Chatham University, the Global Focus Program is on West Africa, so we will take advantage of lectures and resources during the semester. 

Seminar is open to Fellows from all curricular areas and all instructional levels.  The common Seminar readings are available to all, and then Fellows will work in their own curricular areas and at their instructional levels.  

Immigration and Life Adjustments in Pittsburgh

Immigration and Life Adjustment is a seminar offering experiential instruction. It is based on relevant case studies focused on foreign individuals or migrant communities in the greater Pittsburgh area. The participants will enhance their skills in the use of modern social sciences research methods to try to determine the adjustments negotiated by immigrants in the fields of family life, employment, education, responses to emergency situations in everyday living, inter-ethnic communication, and patterns of relationships with overseas communities of origin. The seminar will also explore the conceptual framework of “global Pittsburgh.”

Related Documents
PTI Seminar FAQs and Schedule (.pdf)
2010 PTI Seminar Application (.pdf)
2010 PTI Seminar Application for Seminar Coordinator (.pdf)
2010 PTI Seminar Principal's Review form (.pdf)

Chatham University
IMGALTTAG Pittsburgh Teachers Institute
Jointly sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.