One professor in the West Virginia University Department of Mathematics is helping high school teachers earn a blue ribbon in teaching.

Laura Pyzdrowski, pre-collegiate mathematics coordinator and professor, has received a $54,000 Improving Teach Quality Grant to enhance the teaching of Math I in West Virginia high schools through the Blue Ribbon Math I-For-All program.

“Math I is an integration of content from algebra, geometry and probability and statistics,” Pyzdrowski said. “We want to enhance teachers’ content knowledge for teaching this and emphasize content standards that integrate algebra and geometry.”

By helping teachers develop lesson plans for the 2013-14 school year, the Blue Ribbon Math program helps teachers develop a curriculum with a focus on children with special needs.

Some of the technology proposed for use includes geoboards, tools that provide students hands-on opportunities to learn geometric concepts. These are used in exploring concepts of area and perimeter in geometry, along with spreadsheets, online applets and calculators.

Sara Aronin, a professor in the College of Education and Human Services at WVU, and Fairmont Senior High teacher Diana Munza, will be instructional consultants for the project. Marjorie Darrah, associate professor of mathematics, is the internal project evaluator for the project.

“I will be working with a team in the offering of this professional development, and we’ll be planning over the next month or so how best to incorporate the appropriate use of technology during the time we have with teachers,” Pyzdrwoski said.

In addition to the Blue Ribbon Math I For All project, Pyzdrowski has worked with teachers in after-school programs such as the Junior Academy of Science and Seal Team, where students are immersed in real-world situations with mathematical applications.

“The part I enjoy most about working on these types of projects in that I improve my abilities as a teacher along with the participants. I like to feel that we are working together and growing as professionals in order to help our students learn,” Pyzdrowski said.

Pyzdrowski earned her bachelor’s degree, along with two master’s degrees and a doctorate from WVU. She also has received numerous awards and honors for her distinguished service in mathematics.

For more information, contact Laura Pyzdrowski, at 304-293-8755 or



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