Fellow Profile: Meghan McGovern

Meghan McGovern
  • G-TEAMS Cohort: 2012-13
  • Graduate Program: Biomedical Engineering
  • Teacher Partner: Svea Anderson
  • School: Agua Caliente Elementary School
  • Grade level: 4th Grade
  • Topics: 4th Grade Mathematics and Science

"Go down deep enough into anything and you will find mathematics. ~Dean Schlicter"

Research Interests

Meghan McGovern is a graduate student at the University of Arizona studying Biomedical Engineering. Her research has to do with creating a better CPR protocol to ensure people who have suffered a heart attack have their best chance at surviving. She is in her second year of the program, and will receive her master's degree in May of 2013.

Classroom Activities

Meghan is working at Agua Caliente Elementary School with Svea Anderson teaching 4th grade mathematics and science. One of the primary goals of their partnership is to show students that mathematics is present in nearly every aspect of life including art, nature and science. For example, to illustrate the mathematics principles present in many parts of nature, the students investigated the Fibonacci sequence. They completed scietific observations on pine cones, daisies, sunflowers, pinepples, and artichokes. Fibonacci numbers are present in each of these objects. By observing the physical objects, not only the students learned about the mathematical principle, but their world view was expanded. On a daily basis, Meghan and Svea use real world examples to illustrate the importance of the concepts the students are learning.

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Lessons Learned

I have learned a great deal more through this process than I thought possible. I have learned that children are much smarter than we give them credit for. They may not know what the theorem is until you teach it to them, but they are able to see through much of the noise that adults cannot to get to the true heart of the problem. My teacher partner, Svea, is great at taking the big problems and breaking it into a digestable portions. Although I have not quite mastered this skill yet, I am learning that it is more important to make sure the students have truely grasped a concept before moving on just to get through the material.

Teaching Materials