Washington Applied Math Council

Washington State was part of a 45 state consortium that developed and field-tested the Applied Math curriculum under a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in 1988. Engineers, college math professors, and high school math teachers nationwide participated in development. The first Career and Technical Education (formally Vocational) teachers were trained and certified by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in 1989. The first Washington Applied Math Steering Committee was created in 1994 by OSPI. The Washington Applied Math Council (WAMC) was established in 1997 as a non-profit to train teachers under the auspice of OSPI. WAMC consists of a State Coordinator, four Steering Committee Trainers, and six additional Trainers. They represent five regions in Washington, North West, South West, Central, North East, and South East. The purpose has always been to use a methodology to teach math, at any level, using an application based format. Courses are designed to meet the standards as established by the State Board of Education (SBE) and OSPI. The WAMC Applied Math methodology is a strategy that provides opportunities for students to investigate, construct, and apply math principles. They are guided through a contextual, hands-on, learning experience. This approach has been used for many years in industry and is what is required in the technical world in which they live. The first requested alignment was to the Manufacturing and Technology Advisory Group (MTAG) in 1996. Through the years the curriculum has been modified and advanced to the current Washington State Math Standards.


I decided to send Christmas greetings to you, and all of the Applied Math community. Part of those greetings is to tell you what a difference Applied Math made in my teaching practice. As you know, I came to you somewhat by accident. My principal had just notified the previous A.M/ teacher that he would not return when I stopped by her office. She handed me some paperwork, and sent me to you. The summer conference, led by some very able teachers, started me on a 5+ year path that changed much of what I have done since. I have a history degree, and love teaching history. A.M showed me how much my students needed to see relevance in their schoolwork. A.M. showed my students that they could be successful in math, and therefore in their other subjects. I used much of what I learned from the A.M. community to take a two year journey to my National Board certification. I continue to use what I learned as I teach Advanced Placement World History to sophomores, and Civics/CWP/Economics to seniors. My senior classes are designed using the A.M. philosophy. It is essentially an Applied Life course. Basically I am saying thanks to some of the best and most dedicated teachers I have known during the past 15 years.

Merry Christmas.
Stu McCurdy

I listen and forget .....
I read and understand,
I see and remember ...
I do and I learn.
Oriental Proverb
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