What is the BioMath Connection (BMC) Project?
BMC was a pioneering project linking biology and mathematics in the high schools. It provided an opportunity for high school teachers, writers, researchers, and others to get in on the ground floor of developing innovative classroom materials. The materials consist of 20 modules that can be flexibly adapted for use in a variety of courses at a variety of grade levels in both biology and mathematics. The project was run by DIMACS at Rutgers University in collaboration with the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP) and Colorado State University (CSU).
How do researchers determine the home range of a particular species? What is meant by a species' home range? How does the home range of a species connect to its habitat?
This unit explores how data is collected and analyzed to determine the home range of a number of species. Students use actual data for prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets, and pronghorn antelopes. They determine the home range of these animals, including the size and breadth of the home range, and how one would create a buffer zone for the home range. Students are encouraged to draw conclusions as they compare their data to other student's data. They consider the usability and the effectiveness of different tracking techniques.
Biology: This unit discusses home range, habitat, trophic levels, buffers, human impact, corridors, tracking methods and other areas of conservation biology.
Mathematics: This unit includes concepts of unit conversions, graphing, estimation, area and perimeter, polygons and similar polygons.
Biology: Basic understanding of habitat and differentiation of animal species.
Mathematics: Basic Algebra 1 and Geometry concepts.
This unit consists of 5 lessons and will take 5-7 class periods (45-minutes each) if the majority of the work is done during class. Extension activities provide further development of the modeling if time allows.