Idaho Promoting Safety & Math Skills in One Program

The Idaho Transportation Department or ITD, Idaho Department of Education, Idaho STEM Action Center, and Horizon Credit Union have teamed up to provide a unique math program for Algebra 1 students statewide.

[Above image by ITD]

A coalition of math educators from across Idaho developed a series of lessons, called “Do the math. Save a life,” that use Idaho Office of Highway Safety or OHS crash data to teach Algebra and data analysis skills. That lesson package is now being distributed on a statewide basis.

“So much data is thrown out in the world these days, and it’s important to empower students to be critical consumers of data. Being able to understand and interpret data and statistics is an essential skill for modern society,” explained Josie Derrick, lead math innovator at One Stone and part of the team that created the lessons, in a statement.

Photo by the ITD

“By providing students with opportunities to use math as a tool to think critically and engage in discussions where there may not be a ‘right’ answer, we build skills for students to become more engaged citizens in the future,” Derrick added.

Idaho OHS collects data on all crashes that happen on Idaho roads and displays it on publicly available dashboards. The new math program uses that data to provide examples of math in real life and teaches students lessons like scatter plots, frequency tables, and analyzing claims.

Horizon Credit Union, for its part, provided the financial support to help create those math lessons.

“We are all more curious about what’s happening in our own communities,” said Erin Corwine, part of the team that created the lessons and K-8 mathematics instructional specialist at the Idaho-based Developing Mathematical Thinking Institute.

“Because the dataset is specific to Idaho, students can interact with data points unique to their counties, and in some cases, even specific intersections, so there’s relevance in the learning,” Corwine noted.

Idaho OHS data shows teenagers statewide are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in a crash than other age groups.

“Not only are these lessons teaching them math, but they are also teaching teens about the dangers of distracted, aggressive, and impaired driving,” said Idaho Highway Safety Manager Josephine Middleton. “We want them to understand the risks to they can make safe choices once they start learning how to drive.”

Related articles