University of Delaware
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News Journal: UD joins with schools to show how to teach across disciplines

Put predator and prey bacteria together in a petri dish and their numbers will rise and fall as the predators eat themselves out of food.

Pour certain chemicals into a beaker and keep it well shaken, and the mixture will alternate colors because of a repeating chemical reaction.

A spring with a weight on the end of it will bounce up and down, but it will also sway back and forth, and each force will affect the other.

These experiments encompass three different fields: biology, chemistry and physics. But there’s one mathematical concept behind all three, called “coupled oscillation.” And once a student dives into that concept, the walls between those experiences and the fields they represent grow thin.

“We’re breaking down the silos,” said Rich Lynch, a math teacher at Concord High School. “As a math teacher, I know we need to show our students what they’re doing looks like in the real world. And this is a good way for us to do that.”

Lynch was one of 59 teachers from across the state who performed experiments like those at a training session Friday and Tuesday at the University of Delaware.