South Orangetown Central School District

Engineer Mark Love from the program “Engineers Teaching Algebra” visited Tappan Zee High School Algebra classes this week to provide students with a real-world engineering experience.

During 80-minute sessions on Monday and Tuesday, students were asked to analyze traffic congestion in a busy intersection using skills they learned in Algebra to track the most efficient time for each traffic light. Love ultimately challenged each group to develop a phasing plan for a signalized intersection with multiple lanes of traffic. He explained that as an engineer, the number one priority is to solve the problem safely in the most efficient way possible.

“Students were challenged to problem solve and use their knowledge of fractions and proportions to make sense of this real-world traffic issue. It is important to consistently give students opportunities to see the relevance of their mathematical skills in the real world and to build their confidence,” explained TZHS Instructional Math Coach Karen Connell. “It was so amazing to see how excited the students became as they collaborated to discuss their response.”

Engineers Teaching Algebra lesson