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Snelson-Golden teacher wins prestigious award
SGMS math teacher
Dwaynea Golden, a math teacher at Snelson-Golden Middle School, reviews a student’s project on independent and dependent variables on Monday. - photo by Lainey Standiford

Snelson-Golden Middle School math teacher Dwaynea Golden is the 2018 winner of the National Museum of Mathematics’s (MoMath) Rosenthal Prize for Innovation in Math Teaching.

MoMath is the only math museum in North America, according to a news release. MoMath strives to enhance public understanding and perception of mathematics in daily life.

The museum fills a critical demand around the country and worldwide for hands-on math programming, offering a space where the math-challenged, as well as math enthusiasts of all backgrounds and levels of understanding can enjoy the infinite and beautiful world of mathematics through  more than 37 unique, state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits, the release continued.

The Rosenthal Prize for Innovation in Math Teaching was established to recognize and promote creative and engaging hands-on math teaching. The award, the release read, is named for Saul Rosenthal, the president of the investment firm Oxford Lane Capital Corporation, and a long-time supporter of math education.

The winning lesson, “Statistics Tri’M’athlon” was chosen as 2018’s most innovative, unique and interesting project for students. Golden’s hands-on lesson incorporates three forms of exercise to collect and analyze data, the release read. The students will recognize statistical questions, account for variability in data, and display data using dot plots, box plots and histograms.

Golden’s lesson is a play on the word triathlon to include math because students partake in physical activities during the lesson, she said. The student collects and analyzes data by jumping rope, crab walking and doing push-ups.

“MoMath is thrilled to present Dwaynea Golden with the Rosenthal Prize for her dedication to mathematics and her creative and innovative math lesson,” MoMath Executive Director Cindy Lawrence said. “Through this competition, we have been able to build a strong database of lessons provided by math teachers across the country and have empowered a total of 24 teachers to continue to provide hands-on math experiences that will make learning fun and compelling for students.”

“I feel very blessed to have been selected for this prestigious award,” Golden said. “I am very passionate about teaching math and I put a lot of my time into making sure my students grow. I would not be in the position if it wasn’t for the inspiration I get from my students by seeing that light bulb go off when they grasp a new concept in math. When I win, my students—past, present and future—win, so this is a win for us.”

Teachers from across the country will be able to access Golden’s lesson plan to use in their classrooms. The experience is extremely humbling, Golden said.

“Even though I am in my seventh year of teaching, I know there is so much more I can learn professionally to increase my effectiveness,” Golden continued. “Knowing that my fellow educators can utilize my lesson to help their students grow feels great. I’m glad that I can contribute to the field of education in another way that reaches outside the walls of my classroom.

Golden will receive her prize, presented by Rosenthal on Feb. 6 at MoMath headquarters in New York. She will visit the National Museum of Mathematics and attend a Math Encounters presentation called “The Biggest Secrets in the World: Everything We Know We Don’t Know.”

Applications for the 2019 Rosenthal Prize for Innovation in Math Teaching are currently being accepted. More information can be found at

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