Project PRIME


Note: Project PRIME has developed into the larger "Discovering the Art of Mathematics" project. The resources of Project PRIME remain as they were circa 2009. We encourage you to visit "Discovering the Art of Mathematics" for the continuation of the work begun by this project.

Press Release: Project PRIME

25 March, 2009

A group of faculty in the Department of Mathematics has received a $45,000 gift to launch Project PRIME whose mission is to promote the sharing of resources which enable and encourage teachers to use inquiry teaching and learning in their mathematics classrooms.

The gift is from Harry Lucas, Jr. of Lucas Petroleum and the Educational Advancement Foundation. Mr. Lucas has long supported the use of inquiry and discovery learning in mathematics, having been a student of the founder of an important movement in this area of teaching. This method is called the Moore Method after its founder, R.L. Moore, a prominent American mathematician who served as the President of the American Mathematical Society from 1937 - 38.

Professors Julian F. Fleron, Volker Ecke, Philip K. Hothckiss, and Christine von Renesse are the Principal Investigators of this grant. Professor Marcus Jaiclin serves as Senior Associate and Technical Advisor. The group has been quite active already, including:

  1. ongoing work with Highland Avenue Elementary teachers on the implementation of inquiry in mathematics classrooms,
  2. planning of a fall workgroup on "Inquiry in the Mathematics Classroom" which follows up on joint work with faculty at Rockhurst University,
  3. attendance at several national conferences on mathematics and mathematics education,
  4. Completion of a paper on the use of Google SketchUp, a free Computer Aided Design tool with deep implications for the teaching of geometry.
  5. Completion of a paper on palindromes in mathematics and music.
  6. The group's Internet site already contains a significant collection of resources, announcements, and information about the use of inquiry. This site is located at It will be updated regularly.
While the generous financial support from Mr. Lucas allowed the group to launch Project PRIME, the project's efforts are part of a long-term commitment to inquiry learning by the Department of Mathematics at Westfield State College. This commitment is seen clearly in the Department's Mission, available at Throughout Project PRIME's online resources the names of many other departmental faculty - current as well as past - that have played fundamental roles in supporting progressive mathematics teaching and learning appear. Project PRIME is grateful to all of those that have championed and nurtured these efforts as part of their roles as faculty at the Westfield State College.

© The material which makes up this Internet site is copyright 2009 by Julian Fleron, Phil Hotchkiss, Volker Ecke, Christine von Renesse.