Grant will help math class move pupils


Patrick Moseley, Chair of the Mathematics Department at Permian High School, demonstrates the device for which he received an Education Foundation grant. Students can use them to solve real-world math problems. (Ruth Campbell|American from Odessa)

One of the largest grants awarded by the Education Foundation this year went to Permian High School Mathematics Chair Patrick Moseley for “Walk the Graph” and “Moving Cones.”

The two grants total more than $21,000.

Walk the Graph was $17,520 and Moving Cones was $4,100. He gets 150 CBR 2 or 10 classroom sets and he asked for 20 TI Innovation Rovers. The CBR2s are data acquisition devices.

Walk the Graph includes CBR 2 that connects to Inspire calculators. It’s a motion sensor that can tell how far an object is from it, giving you information about speed and timing information — “just a whole bunch of little bits of information that the calculator can gather,” Moseley said.

“You can then analyze that data, but on this particular grant I wrote, I basically preset a graph into the calculator, which connected it to the CBR unit and the calculator. The student has to move their whole body to follow this graph in near real-time,” Moseley said.

This is designed to help students understand and solidify some basic algebra concepts, he said.

“It’s actually a pretty standard device. Like I said, it’s a noise sensor. They actually use these out in the field when trying to make measurements between different objects. It’s a good tool. There are different varieties of it, but this one is really simple. I know there are a lot more complicated ones out there,” Moseley said. “It’s very similar to … radar, which cops used for speed traps and things like that.”

His second grant is called Moving Cones.

“And that’s where this rover comes in… Basically, I have… some big charts with grids on them and I’m going to set it up so that it looks like a big grid chart that looks like a coordinate plan that the students can use. There’s going to be some spots on it where they navigate the rovers through those spots and eventually… they have to use the rover to push the cone to a specific spot,” Moseley said.

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He added that later, as the students become more engaged, they could start writing their own programs that control the rover.

“You can actually set up a route with different colored lines and they will actually follow that with the right program. It’s pretty neat. There are a variety of activities that come with this. …” Moseley said.

Mathematics is not always practical like physics or other sciences. The students have to take care of it.

“But these devices help lift students out of their seats, get them moving and they start to feel how this stuff works and they start to say, oh the hang is that because of these different things happen. Yes, time and they kind of see how time and distance really affect how things behave,” Moseley said.

Moseley said he did some training at Texas Instruments, including training on CBRs and the rovers.

“…I’ve used the CB RS before. But it’s been a long time. And I actually look around the high school and a few other schools and see if they have any, and I couldn’t find any, so I said, well, I guess I’d better write a scholarship for that. Our former department head, I just wanted to get one classroom set of that, and she actually convinced me to get my 10 classroom sets of that, so that grant is pretty high,” Moseley said.

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He said he was amazed to learn he was receiving the scholarships. Other teachers will be able to use them as well, and he’s sure it will help attract students’ attention.

“Absolutely. I think that’s a big deal,” Moseley said.

He added that other teachers should seek Education Foundation grants. This is his second award in six years.

“You’re only limited by your own imagination,” Moseley said.

Moseley said he managed to get an Education Foundation grant about six years ago.

Permian Principal Delesa Styles said they were thrilled to learn of Moseley’s award.

“We were delighted to learn that Mr. Moseley had received two grants from the ECISD Education Foundation! It says a lot about his leadership and innovative, outside-the-box thinking. It takes time to write and submit a thoughtful proposal that not only catches the attention of the committee but creatively serves the academic needs of our students. Mr. Moseley recently assumed the role of Chair of the Permian Faculty of Mathematics and we are honored to have him in such an important position,” Styles said in an email.

Moseley added that writing a grant isn’t difficult, but it can take time to get the signatures needed.

He added that his training has fueled his imagination.

“In fact, I have more plans to write grants this year. There are some kits that go with this, these are called Innovator hubs. It’s actually kind of a brain in there,” he said.

“The student would have to create spreadsheets and other things. It kind of allows them to play with that stuff,” Moseley added.

Coding will flow into devices, he said, particularly on the rover.

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“With the rover, it could lead to more coding, which is a pretty big push for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) right now. The CBR is not actually encodable. It’s not a coding thing. Only data is recorded. The calculators have a built-in data collection tool that allows you to click on all types of data. And not just with the CBRs actually, there are actually all sorts of different data collection tools out there – temperature, chemicals. Again, there are tons of … scientific data collection tools,” Moseley said.

Born in El Paso, Moseley said his father was in the military, so they moved around a lot. He lived in Germany for a few years and after his father left the service, they moved to Odessa, where his father was born.

Moseley attended Odessa High School, earned an associate’s degree in sociology from Odessa College and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Texas Permian Basin. He earned a Masters in Educational Technology from UT Rio Grande Valley.

Moseley didn’t think he would teach, but one of the security guards, Randall Jones, persuaded him to get involved and he was hooked from then on. He has been teaching for more than 18 years.

“I was pretty good at math. … I was really good in high school and I didn’t push myself that hard, just did what I had to do to finish.” College was a lot more fun – math is a lot better there. I liked it a lot better — especially after I found out what’s going on,” Moseley said.



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