Poster for Spring 2001

Design Requirements
The Ames Community Schools (ACS) are concerned with
the performance of their students in problem solving on a
nationally standardized exam. While ACS traditionally
scores in the 90th percentile, results from the problemsolving section were much lower. The purpose of
Mathematical Teaching Software System (MTSS) is to
develop a platform-independent program to augment the
problem-solving education of ACS elementary students.
To ensure cross-platform compatibility, a suite of Active
Server Pages (ASP), accessible through a standard internet
browser, will be generated. In conclusion, by creating a
program to enhance and expound upon existing
educational resources, ACS students will be better prepared
for the standardized tests – ultimately producing higher test
General Background
• Internet-based program
• Interactive problem solving
• Topical organization of problems, starting with
• Uses student evaluation to facilitate teaching
• Generates student and class statistics
Technical Problem
Intuitive yet powerful interface for children
Cross-platform compatibility (Macintosh and IBM)
Database management
Simultaneous, individualized user capability
Intended Users
• Children in the 3rd to 6th grades from ACS
• Classroom teachers
• Parents
Operating Environment
• Client computers must have version 4.0 or better
internet browser
• Operating system on the server for this application
• Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 to run Internet
Information Server 4.0 (IIS)
• MTSS is supplemental to teacher instruction
• MTSS will have write-access to the server
• Lack of user computer knowledge, reading
skills, and typing skills
• Must work within ACS’s current computer
infrastructure (network and machines)
• Quality of available database mechanism
Design Objectives
• Research various methods of teaching problem solving
• Develop a web-based program that will allow 3rd through
6th graders to learn problem-solving skills
• Build facilities for teachers to monitor the progress of
students throughout the problem solving and learning
Functional Requirements
• Present a problem to the students for them to solve
• Ask the students to describe their strategy for solving the
• Conduct an evaluation of their work and be able to
justify their answer
• Store results for teachers to retrieve and review
Research problem background
Meet with teachers and visit classrooms
Create flow chart describing function and I/O
Code a fractions demonstration
Test the resultant software
Modify the software as necessary
If you have one block,
and you paint all the
sides but the bottom,
there will be five
painted sides. With two
stacked blocks, there
will be nine painted
sides (the bottom and
the two connected sides
are not painted). How
many sides will be
painted if there are four
stacked blocks?
(Ans: 17)
End Product
The end product is a suite of ASP pages that will build
dynamic pages for students depending on the problem
category and difficulty desired. On problems where it is
beneficial for students to rotate the image, the users will
be able to do this. An ASP/web solution also allows the
pages of generated HTML to be viewed on any platform.
Teachers will also be able to compare information
obtained from all participating students. Because this
solution is a “web-based” solution, students will have the
opportunity to work on problem solving skills from
home with their parents. This can indirectly have a large
affect on parent involvement with the education process.
Liz Bowman, 3rd grade teacher
Karen Hoiberg, 5th grade teacher
Tony VanderZyl, Curriculum and Instruction
Nancy Vogeler, 6th grade teacher
Elise Wright, 5th grade teacher
Second semester team members
$ 50
$ 80
$ 20
$ 150
Testing Approach
• Tested for functionality, reliability, and ease of use
• Team members will perform the initial tests
• Final tests will be conducted by ACS teachers and actual
Faculty Advisors
Dr. John Lamont
Technical Approach
By meeting with primary school teachers who are
presenting problem-solving techniques, the project team
will determine which techniques are successful and will
attempt to computerize those techniques. Class materials
will be reviewed to help define the system requirements.
Dr. Ralph Patterson
Personal Effort
Kok-Hong Chua
95 hours
Stacie Doorenbos
100 hours
115 hours
120 hours
Tom Hromatka
Chris Robert