LA SELVA BEACH — A local math teacher is leaving today for a trip to New York City, where he will receive a prestigious teaching award.
Matt Engle, who teaches at Monterey Bay Academy, has received the 2017 Rosenthal Prize for Innovation in Math Teaching.
Engle earned the $25,000 award for his lesson, titled “Bringing Similarity Into Light: Experiencing Similarity and Dilations Using Shadows.”
The lesson examines the shadows of shapes to explore concepts such as ratio, dilation, and proportionality in triangles.
Engle said he strives to make math exciting and fun for his students, and to answer the age-old student question, “when am I going to use this?”
“The answer is, you’re probably not,” he said. “The value is growing ways of thinking your brain will use forever. My goal is to help students realize why learning math in school is a valuable thing for them.”
MoMath’s Rosenthal Prize for Innovation in Math Teaching, now in its sixth year, was established to recognize and promote distinguished hands-on math teaching.
Each year, the winning classroom instructional activity is shared via MoMath’s website with teachers across the country.
The award is named for Saul Rosenthal, president of investment firm Oxford Lane Capital Corp. and long-time supporter of math education.
“As both a student and occasional guest teacher, I have always enjoyed that ‘aha’ moment that comes from a new understanding of a difficult concept or seeing something in a new way,” Rosenthal said. “I was delighted to work with the founders of MoMath to create this prize and recognize truly innovative and inspiring teachers.”
The second-place prize and $5,000 cash award was given to “Derangements and Random Rearrangements: An Exploration of Probability,” created by Heather Danforth-Clayson, a middle school teacher from Helios School in Sunnyvale.
Rosenthal will present prizes to the winners in a ceremony on Wednesday at the National Museum of Mathematics in New York City.
Applications for the 2018 Rosenthal Prize for Innovation in Math Teaching will be accepted starting in February. For information, visit momath.org.