Community Outreach Centre
Established in September 2009 with the generous support of the Imperial Oil Foundation, the Community Outreach Centre is an important hub for innovative programs and projects related to literacy, mathematics, science and technology education.
The Community Outreach Program is partially sponsored by the Faculty's Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Group (MSTE).
The Community Outreach Centre brings together local partners, such as community agencies, museums, educators, local artists, musicians and volunteers, other departments within Queen’s, and St. Lawrence College, to coordinate activities and to produce useful resources for teachers and parents.
The Community Outreach Centre is located at the Queen's University Faculty of Education, in Duncan McArthur Hall, A342.
Dr. Lynda Colgan
Phone: 613 533 6000 ext. 75553
Dr. Lynda Colgan is committed to public education, particularly parent education about and child engagement in elementary mathematics. Her long-running popular press articles about the ubiquity and utility of mathematics led to the development of The Prime Radicals, a 52-episode children’s live-action mathematics television program that runs on educational television in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario. The first 26 episodes of the The Prime Radicals were developed in conjunction with TVOKids and produced in association with TVOntario, Knowledge Network, SCN and ACCESS Alberta; and with the financial participation ($975,000) of the Canada Media Fund, The Shaw Rocket Fund, The Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Dr. Colgan developed all curriculum correlations and real-world mathematical contexts. She developed conceptually rich and age-appropriate mathematical activities and applications for each episode and for the ancillary website. Her popular press articles also led to the publication of Mathemagic! Number Tricks by Kids Can Press. Designated by the Junior Library Guild of the United States, and nominated as a 2012 Forest of Reading® Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award official selection (a project of the Ontario Library Association), in September 2011, Mathemagic was also sold to Tehniska Zalzozba Slovenjie for Slovenian rights. A book comprised of the popular press articles is currently being compiled for publication. These creative products complement her recent Administrative role as Community Outreach Coordinator for the Faculty of Education and her current empirical study of the impact of recent Mathematics Courses for Parents, public science education events, community partnership projects (e.g., dialogic reading courses for parents and Hanen Language Training for Kindergarten Educational Assistants) and arts-based mathematics teaching opportunities for BEd teacher candidates. The elementary mathematics resources developed and shared through Connect-ME, her SSHRC and Imperial Oil Foundation funded study of virtual repositories to support early-career elementary mathematics teachers, have been widely field-tested and professionally published as modules available to teachers, parents, students and volunteer youth workers. Dr. Colgan is an active member of the Canadian mathematics education community, and supports Ontario mathematics educators and consultants through her quarterly articles in The Ontario Mathematics Gazette about recent trends and research in elementary mathematics education and her recently published Canadian edition of Helping Children Learn Mathematics (which was adopted by two universities prior to publication). See Lynda Colgan's Profile.
The Many Faces of Community Outreach
The spring/summer 2013 issue of the Queen's Education Letter focused on community outreach and was guest-edited by Dr. Lynda Colgan, Coordinator of the Community Outreach Centre.
Kingston Counts! A Celebration of Family Math, which took place in April, 2010, was the inaugural event of the Community Outreach Centre. The event offered 25 teaching centres at which parents, grandparents, caregivers and children engaged with unique and fun-filled, yet substantive mathematics activities.
At each station, children were involved in a ‘make-and-take’ mathematics-based craft activity. This provided families with opportunities to make a simple soroban (a Japanese abacus), an origami cube, a tangram flag, a cipher wheel, a combinations and permutations flip book, and a magic (anamorphic) mirror and anamorphic drawing.
In addition to the ‘hands-on, heads-in’ interactive learning stations that addressed all five content strands and all process strands from the Ontario Mathematics Curriculum, families were treated to the ‘world premiere’ of a puppet play, Mathakazam! based on an original concept by Lynda Colgan and produced by Annie Milne of Gentlewings Puppet Troupe.
All puppets were created by Faculty of Education teacher candidates under Annie's mentorship. The teacher candidates performed the play and collaborated in the composition of the Mathakazam! song and choreography of its simple dance—performed by the puppeteers and audience members at the play's conclusion.
At the close of the event, each family received a family math take-home kit to support mathematics learning beyond the day. The kit included a book containing simple ‘kitchen-table math activities;’ a list of children’s books with a mathematics theme that are available through local, public libraries; recommended websites for mathematics games and support; and suggestions for ways to support mathematics learning in informal ways. All activities in the book were researched, compiled, field-tested and desk-top published by the teacher candidates who comprised the Kingston Counts! team.
Kingston Counts! was organized by a team of 16 teacher candidates, under the direction of Dr. Lynda Colgan, and it provided them with a unique opportunity to become certified Family Math facilitators and to experience the important role that public education should play in the life of any educator and any school or research institution.