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Educator Scores With Curriculum Connecting Math and Hockey
Christine Mayfield
“Math is an integral part of playing hockey,” said Christine Mayfield, Cal State Fullerton lecturer in elementary and bilingual education. “For instance, the skill of passing the puck involves the use of math, specifically geometry and the use of angles.”
Cal State Fullerton Partners With Anaheim Ducks for Educational Program

February 15, 2008 :: No. 149

What does math have to do with playing professional ice hockey? A lot.

“Math is an integral part of playing hockey,” said Christine Mayfield, Cal State Fullerton lecturer in elementary and bilingual education. “For instance, the skill of passing the puck involves the use of math, specifically geometry and the use of angles.”

For an educational program for elementary and middle school students sponsored by the Anaheim Ducks, Mayfield helped write the curriculum for its First Flight Field Trip Workbook, which focuses on the relationship between math and the ice sport.

The National Hockey League team is distributing the workbook to more than 16,000 students in grades K-8 in Orange County, as well as schools in neighboring counties. On Feb. 19, these youngsters will visit the Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks, for a daylong field trip.

The program is part of the Ducks’ SCORE (Scholastic Curriculum of Recreation & Education) program, said Joseph Hwang, manager of fan development for the reigning Stanley Cup champions. The field trip is a free educational event that encourages students to apply their knowledge of classroom subjects to hockey.

“It shows them that what they’re learning in the classroom doesn’t just stay in the classroom. It’s applicable to everyday life,” Hwang said.

During the event, Ducks team members will help students solve some of the workbook lessons and show them how math helps them play the fastest game in the world.

“When children see real-world connections between hockey and math, and learn that hockey players can be better players if they realize these connections, hopefully, it will encourage them to focus their efforts more on learning the subject,” said Mayfield, who began working on the curriculum project about a year ago.

A former elementary school teacher, Mayfield earned a bachelor’s degree in child development, master’s in education with a concentration in elementary curriculum and instruction and her teaching credential through the multiple subject credential program, all at Cal State Fullerton. Her research focus is writing curriculum for elementary school-age children.

Besides developing lesson plans published in the workbook, Mayfield’s other publications include two books published by Teacher Created Materials and co-authored with Kristine Quinn, also a CSUF lecturer in elementary and bilingual education.

“Christine Mayfield is an invaluable member of the Department of Elementary and Bilingual Education,” said Karen Ivers, chair and professor of elementary and bilingual education. “She practices what she teaches. Christine leads two blocks [cohorts] of student teachers, is very involved in the community and in supporting education. She is a great role model and mentor for our students who are preparing to become teachers.”

Mayfield, a Placentia resident, is a self-described sports fanatic, especially when it comes to baseball. She and her husband, Lennie, have Titan baseball season tickets, and their three children play in local sports youth organizations.

Admittedly, until this project, she had little knowledge about the game of hockey — except for the childhood experiences she had being a goalie blocking her big brother’s shots.

“When I saw this opportunity to bridge the connection between math and sports, I was excited to get involved,” she said. “While I know a lot more about baseball, I’ve certainly learned a great deal about hockey.”         

For the Feb. 19 field trip, Mayfield, Ivers, CSUF College of Education Dean Claire Cavallaro and Bobbee Cline, director of development for the college, will be in attendance to answer student questions and showcase the university’s teacher education programs.

“We’ll tell students about the importance of getting a college education and how they can become a teacher,” Ivers said.

For more information about Cal State Fullerton’s College of Education, visit http://ed.fullerton.edu/. Information about the Anaheim Ducks and the team’s educational programs is available at www.anaheimducks.com.

Media Contacts:

Christine Mayfield, College of Education, 657-278-5747 or cmayfield@fullerton.edu
Debra Cano Ramos, CSUF Public Affairs, 657-278-4027 dcanoramos@fullerton.edu
Joseph Hwang, Anaheim Ducks, 714-940-2827 or jhwang@anaheimducks.com


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