BLOSSOMS (Blended Learning Open Source Science Or Math Studies) invites MIT students to create educational videos for high school math classes. There will be up to three winners, and each winning submission will be awarded a $1,000 prize. Submissions can be by individuals or by teams of two or more. BLOSSOMS is especially interested in submissions that cover one of three topics: Little's Law of Queueing (Institute Professor John Little has promised to make a cameo appearance); estimating orders of magnitudes of things that are not well defined; and systems. Beyond these topics, BLOSSOMS welcomes submissions on any topic that is at a level appropriate for a high school class.
BLOSSOMS is an international collaboration, creating a rich repository of open-source video modules for high school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes worldwide.
BLOSSOMS's goals include:
- promoting critical thinking, moving away from rote memorization;
- getting high school students excited about STEM careers and subject matter;
- showing application of math and science to everyday life;
- developing cross-cultural awareness and appreciation; and
- having fun while doing this.
Below are some examples of BLOSSOM video modules made by Operations Research Center (ORC) and Engineering Systems Design (ESD) students:
- ORC: Karima Nigmatulina — Taking Walks, Delivering Mail: An Introduction to Graph Theory
- ORC: Anna Teytelman (with Prof. Arnold Barnett) — Is Bigger Better? A Look at a Selection Bias that Is All Around Us
- ESD: Rhonda Jordan and Dan Livengood — Flaws of Averages
- ESD: Dan Sturtevant — Building Cryptosystems
BLOSSOMS lessons follow a unique "Blended Learning" and "Teaching Duet" pedagogical model that derived over the past three years. Any submission must adhere to that pedagogical model. Participants will receive templates showing a step-by-step approach, leading from "concept" of your BLOSSOMS module, to its "architecture," to its "pseudo-script," to a "storyboard" (made with the help of a professional videographer), to actual videotaping.
Here is the proposed schedule of events:
1. Wednesday, Nov. 16: Expression of interest: Email Professor Richard Larson indicating your intention to participate in the contest by this date. You will receive templates and some related useful information. If there is a team, you should identify all members of the team.
2. Wednesday, Dec. 7: Submission of the concept template for your BLOSSOMS video module.
3. Some date during Independent Activities Period (IAP), exact date to be determined: Live contest in an MIT auditorium where you and your team act out the first two sessions of your video, and you submit your proposed architecture template for the entire video. Winners will be announced live at this event.
The winners must agree to move on to the development of a pseudo-script that must be approved prior to videotaping. The date of videotaping during the spring semester will be arranged to be convenient to your schedule.