Fellow Profile: Jordan Carbary-Ganz

Jordan Carbary-Ganz
  • G-TEAMS Cohort: 2013-14
  • Graduate Program: Biomedical Engineering
  • Teacher Partner: Teri Laguna
  • School: Flowing Wells High School
  • Grade level: 10-12
  • Topics: Honors Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry, Trigonometry

“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.”
- Galileo Galilei

Research Interests

My research interests lie in the early detection of colorectal cancer using quantum dots as fluorescent contrast agents. Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed and third most deadly cancer in both men and women in the United States. It is also highly survivable when detected in early stages. Unfortunately, the majority of cases are found in late stages. For this reason, I am working on creating novel contrast agents that are targeted to biochemical changes in cancerous cells. Using novel imaging techniques, we can visualize both the biochemical changes and morphological changes taking place, simultaneously. This combination can provide information on changes taking place at the cellular level, before the cancer is visible to the naked eye. With earlier detection, we can increase the number of patients surviving colorectal cancer.

Classroom Activities

At Flowing Wells High School, I am working with Teri Laguna in her Honors Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry classes. One thing we are particularly interested in is the improvement of the student's ability to graph sine and cosine waves given an equation (and vice versa) and utilizing this in sinusoidal modeling. We created a guided discovery based worksheet that utilized the student's own ability to recognize changes taking place between graphs and equations to formulate generalized equations for the sine and cosine waves. With a more thorough knowledge on each of the components of the sine and cosine wave equations, the students could then move toward modeling situations using sinusoids.

Lessons Learned

Being in the classroom setting has taught me a lot about how I ask questions and the impact it can have on a student's learning. I realized that I was doing them a disservice by not taking the time to pose questions that made them utilize more critical thinking and open ended discussion to give an answer. I soon realized that when I changed the way a stated a question, I began to see more enthusiastic involvement from the students. I also realized that by not calling on individuals to answer a question, I was allowing only advanced or more outspoken students to lead the lesson. By taking a more strategic approach and calling on individuals to answer, I have seen more involvement from lower performing and reserved students.

Another important lesson I have learned involves the importance of making connections to the real world. Many students are very capable of memorizing steps in mathematics, but they fail to understand why we do things and how we can utilize it outside of the math classroom. I have found that when I take a subject and show the students how an engineer would use the knowledge in a real world application, the students are able to obtain a better grasp on the subject. I have also noticed an increased interest in the math we are learning when the students realize the importance it holds outside of the classroom.

Teaching Materials