Integrating Math and Science with Leadership Skills

Author: Shelly Hollis
August 13, 2014

integrating math and science

Integrating math and science into a single lesson plan can be tricky. Integrating math and science with leadership lessons may seem like a step beyond tricky, but it isn’t hopeless. The trick is finding how the three subjects correlate with each other.

integrating math and science

So, how do we find the correlation between the three subjects? How do we inspire a new generation of great mathematicians and scientists? How does integrating math and science into leadership work? One way to answer these questions is to create curiosity in students.

Integrating Math and Science with Leadership Skills

Math and science are important subjects for students to understand, and they can also provide opportunities for us to teach students leadership skills. Leadership connections are abundant and easily recognized in reading and social studies lessons. For instance, you can use characters in literature and world leaders in social studies to teach lessons with little to no prompting. As teachers, we can do the same thing in math and science if we are intentional and plan for the teachable moments.


10 Suggestions and Examples for Integrating Math and Science with Leadership Skills

integrating math and science

1. The scientific method starts with asking a specific question. Effective leaders always begin with a purpose or an “end in mind.”

2. The procedures used in an experiment have a specified order. The skill of prioritization is a valuable leadership habit.

3. Scientists and mathematicians often work in groups to complete research. Leaders value others’ opinions and listen to learn from their peers.

4. Chemical reactions can create totally new products. This is comparable to leaders working together to create a completely new idea that no one had thought of individually.

5. The languages of the Eight Standards for Mathematical Practice in the Common Core contains multiple connections to leadership.

    • “Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.” When students are involved in this process they learn respect, critical thinking, and communication skills.
    • “Model with mathematics.” Use mind maps, graphic organizers, or foldables to reinforce mathematical models and to help students lead their own mental constructs. This standard helps students organize and take leadership of their own learning.
    • “Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. The student maintains oversight of the process while attending to the details.” Leaders always keep the big picture in mind while attending to the details, and this standard helps students practice that skill.

6. When teaching the area and perimeter of shapes, many teachers have students draw house plans. Planning is an important leadership skill.

7. Tracking academic goals with multiple data trackers helps teach valuable graph- and chart-reading skills while simultaneously motivating students to reach for their personal best.

8. Current leaders of math or science can provide examples of leadership for students. Students can keep a yearlong journal or blog about these individuals and write about how they exhibit leadership qualities.

9. Many trade books are available for math and science content. As students read these books, teachers can be intentional about using leadership language. NSTA recommends several trade books here:

10. Some grade levels have science standards related to environmental issues. The leadership skill of thinking in a mutually beneficial way could be applied here. For example, Westwood Elementary in Arkansas recycles Capri Sun pouches and donates the money to help dig water wells in Africa.

Math and science skills are the building blocks of a healthy economy. As you teach these subjects through the lens of leadership, you do more than share facts and formulas. Just imagine—you may inspire the next Albert Einstein, George Washington Carver, or Marie Curie!


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