NMSSI Course Catalog 2023

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All courses are 3 credit hours, unless otherwise noted.

NMSSI Courses for Mathematics Teachers
MATH 802P - Number, Geometry and Algebraic Thinking II
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 7517

Location and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 5-9 and June 12-16, 8am-noon (Zoom, with breaks)
This course builds on the mathematics studied in Math 800P and 801P and extends teachers’ mathematical knowledge by considering how concepts studied in the K-3 curriculum lay a foundation for abstract thinking in grades 4 and beyond. The first week focuses on a study of fractions (which are prevalent in the 4 – 6 curriculum), and the second week emphasizes geometry topics that underlie the 4 – 6 curriculum. Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on solving problems that develop the “habits of mind of a mathematical thinker” and then communicating solutions to peers. Grades K-3 teachers can apply to the next cohort of Primarily Math by April 1, 2024. Prereqs: Math 800P or 801P, or by permission.
MATH 802T - Functions, Algebra and Geometry
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #:7514

Location and Date:
Online (Asynchronous), July 10-Aug. 10
This course offers an introduction to the concept of a function and addresses both algebra and geometry topics. The course will deepen teachers’ understanding of the concepts of variable and function, problem solving, measurement, and geometric modeling, with emphasis on the connections between these concepts. Math 802T is part of our effort to assist teachers as they develop a strong foundation in mathematics focused on the mathematics that must be understood deeply to teach well at the middle grades. Seventh- and eighth-grade teachers considering a master's degree should visit the MAT page and the TLTE MA page. Teachers with secondary certification may prefer to take Math 810T or Math 811T. If you have taken Math 810T or Math 811T, please request permission from your advisor before taking Math 802T.
MATH 804T - Experimentation, Conjecture & Reasoning
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 7516

Locations and Dates:
In Person, 13 Avery Hall, June 12-16, 8am-5pm
This course focuses on problem solving, reasoning and proof and communicating mathematics. The overall goal for this course is to bring participants to the next level in the development of their mathematical habits of mind: A person who is an effective mathematical thinker has a toolbox of skills and knowledge to experiment, conjecture, reason, and ultimately solve problems. Sound habits of mind are marked by great flexibility of thinking and the strong belief that precise exposition of solutions is important. Possible topics include the Pythagorean Theorem, golden rectangles, Platonic solids, Fibonacci numbers, infinites, counting, and probability.
MATH 805T - Discrete Mathematics
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #s: 2962; 7520

Locations and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 19-23 and June 26-30, 1-5pm (Zoom, with breaks); Online (Asynchronous), May 30-June 30 (5 weeks)
This course is designed to deepen knowledge of discrete mathematics as it relates to topics covered in middle through high school curricula. Many of the course topics are introduced through "hands-on" explorations including methods of counting, graph theory (networking) and voting theory. Teachers will be introduced to different voting methods for determining the winner of an election along with several (sometimes conflicting) notions of fairness. The course also develops an understanding of the role of precise mathematical language, reasoning, and proof in the development of discrete mathematics. The exploratory exercises in the course provide useful vehicles for promoting communication as groups will collaborate to explore problems and present various solutions.
MATH 814T - Linear Algebra for Teachers
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 7522

Location and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 5-9 and June 12-16, 8am-noon (on Zoom with breaks)
Concepts of linear algebra form key connections between much of what underlies the high school math curriculum and advanced mathematical topics and real-world applications. This course studies the relationships between linear equations, linear transformations and the geometry of lines and planes, along with their behavior and practical applications.
MATH 816T - Math in the City for Teachers
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 7524

Location and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 5-16, presentations on June 30, 8am-noon (Zoom, with breaks)
Math in the City is a course that focuses on modeling and is run in collaboration with local government, businesses, research or administrative centers. This project-oriented course brings together diverse areas of mathematical content. The course is designed for teachers with secondary certification in mathematics. As needed, some topics such as basic statistical analysis, programming in MATLAB, and an introduction to modeling epidemics will be reviewed as part of the course. Teachers who register for the course should expect to communicate regularly with their project groups; it will be most beneficial if this communication takes place synchronously. The course will culminate in a group presentation and a successful participant will be able to approach other real-life problems that involve mathematics with confidence.
MATH 803T - Mathematics of Computational Thinking (was Math 893)
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 8790

Location and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 12-16 and June 19-23, 8am-noon (Zoom, with breaks)
Mathematics of Computational Thinking is now intended for an audience of middle-level teachers. The class focuses on using algorithmic processes to break down complex problems and explore ways to quantify decision-making for current, relevant issues such as switching to electric cars or deciding who should receive heart transplants (or other limited medical treatments such as ventilators during COVID-19). Adaptations of the various projects will be developed for use with students. Experience with spreadsheets will be helpful but is not required. Note: This course is a good option for teachers who have completed Primarily Math or ITEAM and want to further their learning.
MATH 893 - Secondary-Integrated STEM
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 6184

Location and Dates:
In Person, Lincoln, July 10-14 (8am-5pm)
In this course, teachers will engage in project-based learning experiences that integrate STEM in intentional and meaningful ways. Teachers also will develop the depth of content knowledge needed to implement various integrated STEM lessons in their own classrooms. In addition, the course will address effective strategies for further integration and implementation of STEM content.
STAT 812T - Statistics for High School Teachers
Audience:K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 8403

Location and Dates:
Online (Asynchronous), June 19-Aug. 10 (8 weeks)
This course will cover the statistical concepts typically taught in a high school Statistics class. These include: linear regression, two-way tables, sampling distributions, statistical inference for means and proportions, chi-square tests, and inference for regression. Some experience with basic statistical concepts (mean, standard deviation, elementary probability) is necessary. The course will be inquiry-based, and will emphasize applications and statistical thinking. Software and calculators will be used for most analyses.
TEAC 807A - Equitable Practices in Mathematics Education: Identity, Access, & Equity
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 6152

Location and Dates:
Web Conferencing: July 10-14 and 17-21, 1pm-5pm (on Zoom from 1-3pm)
This class will explore your own identity and the role of identity in mathematics. Access and equity will be discussed in order to understand pathways and barriers to identity formation within paradigms of mathematical learning, teaching and being. This class will serve as a reminder for all of us of the importance of centering and acknowledging identity in mathematics education across all grade levels. Through a combination of synchronous web conferencing, asynchronous learning opportunities, and individual feedback conferences with the instructor, students will engage in reading, reflecting, discussing, and connecting course topics with classroom practice.
TEAC 807C - Equitable Practices in Mathematics Education: Mathematics Classroom Discourse
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 8533

Location and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 5-9 and June 12-16, 1pm-5pm (on Zoom from 2-4pm)
Analysis of the application of equitable practices to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics. Specifically, the course focuses on the roles and contexts of mathematics classroom discourse and the practical implications for supporting productive, powerful, and purposeful discourse as an equity practice.
TEAC 808G - Improvement of Instruction in School Mathematics: Manipulatives in Mathematics Education
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 6153

Location and Dates:
In Person, June 26-30, 8am-5pm, UNL City Campus
This course is devoted to the role of manipulative materials (both concrete and virtual) in promoting mathematics learning. A philosophy of using manipulatives is developed and integrated with a range of experiences proven effective in helping students learn mathematics. The topics and materials will range from primary to middle grades to secondary mathematics and include hands-on manipulative activities, discussion, and feedback each day of this in-person course.

NMSSI Courses for Science Teachers
ASTR 892 - Life in the Universe for STEM Teachers
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 3042

Location and Dates: Online (Asynchronous), May 30-June 30 (5 weeks)
This course on astrobiology focuses on the question "Are we alone in the Universe?" and applies scientific reasoning to the possibility of life somewhere other than Earth. It will study how life arose, how it has evolved over time and the conditions necessary for life to exist. It includes topics and pedagogical strategies in astronomy, biology, geology, paleontology and chemistry, and utilizes an integrative interdisciplinary approach needed to study today's complex problems. This course may also be appropriate for seventh- and eighth-grade teachers. This course is appropriate for mathematics teachers with secondary certification.
BIOS 891 - Physiology in Extreme Environments
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 3039

Location and Dates:
Web Conferencing, July 10-14 and 17-21, 2-4 p.m. (Zoom)
This two-week course will explore organismal physiology in extreme environments. Students will engage with real-world examples of extreme physiology and adaptations in harsh environments such as how giant mammals can survive in deserts, how mosses and ferns can thrive in the tundra, and how some fish endure sulfidic water! Additionally, over-arching themes across multiple physiological systems will be integrated cross-cutting concepts in physics and chemistry.
GEOS 898 - Methods in Geoscience Field Instruction
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 3105, Section 591

Location and Dates:
In Person, travel: June 10-25
GEOS 898 Flyer
This course, directed toward in-service teachers, comprises a 16-day inquiry-based field course and science-immersion discovery experience in Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota. The primary aims of this course are to improve educators' ability to teach inquiry, gain knowledge and understanding of geoscience, and to demonstrate effective teaching methods that teachers can integrate into K-12 science learning environments. The major goals of GEOS 898 are:

  • To enhance the 'geoscience experience' for in-service science educators and their future students;
  • To demonstrate inquiry concepts and skills that K-12 educators are expected to understand and employ;
  • To inspire science educators to use inquiry and geoscience as unifying themes in their teaching activities;
  • To provide all participants with a 'tool-kit' of effective inquiry-based teaching practices in all science fields.

Through a collaborative teaching and learning structure, all course participants will learn about geology, geoscience education, group dynamics, and more about themselves. The course will follow a route through Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota and will expose you to scientific principles and practices through discovery- and inquiry-based learning. You will observe and study a variety of natural phenomena (with a focus on Earth processes and geological history). You will utilize science process skills to include: documentation, classification, question formulation, development of hypotheses and models, debating interpretations, and developing higher-level questions, etc. Evening discussions will be conducted around the campfire where we will explore effective teaching practices. You will work to develop tools and techniques to teach others what you have learned. You will collaborate with your peers to evaluate, compare, criticize and adjust your work. At the end of the course we will visit a site where you will engage in an authentic geologic exercise and apply the skills you have learned over the previous 10 days to construct a geologic history for the region. A video about the course provides information and testimonials from former participants, watch it here (may not work in Google Chrome).

Department consent will be required to register; e-mail dharwood1@unl.edu. All costs for food, accommodation, and transport are provided at no cost.
PHYS 892 - Vectors in Introductory Physics
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 3126

Locations and Dates:
In Person, UNL City Campus, July 17-21 and 24-28, 9 a.m.-noon, 245 Jorgensen Hall
Vectors are reviewed by exploring problem-solving strategies for the (typically "harder") starred end-of-chapter problems in high school textbooks and extended into 3-dimensions with the introduction vector algebra that defines "cross" and "dot" products. All material will be presented at a level understandable to those with only a background in algebra. Building upon the interpretation of simple straight line to curved graphs of time-varying motion, force, and energy, the basic algebraic definitions of physical quantities are used to gently introduce the calculus concepts of differentiation and integration.
TEAC 864 - The Nature of Science in Science Teaching
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 8375

Location and Dates:
Online (Asynchronous), July 10-Aug. 10 (some meetings required)
TEAC 864 Outline of Meetings
Pre- and in-service teachers who take this course will develop a familiarity with different philosophical and epistemological approaches to science, explore ways to include NGSS scientific and engineering practices in our science curricula, and construct a set of warranted assertions about science, learning, and our teaching practices. We will explore the historical foundations of the three visions of science and science literacy. While this is not a science teaching methods course, the course content will be presented from a science educator’s perspective with practical applications to the science classroom. We will consider ways that science educators can develop understandings of science as a practice in teaching through the way we use language, the laboratory activities and investigations we choose, and how instructional choices convey to students an image of science, scientific knowledge, and scientists. See the flyer for an outline of course meetings.