Math in Real Life

The mathematics are distinguished by a particular privilege, that is, in the course of ages, they may always advance and can never recede.  ~Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

 Math is all around us – more so than we can begin to comprehend. The fundamental building blocks of the very computer on which you read this very blog post can be distilled to the mathematical binary of one and zero, the building blocks of the alphabet of computer language.

Monday the 15th was Math in Real Life night at Horace Cureton Elementary School, an event that attempted to quash the all too common students’ lament, “but I’m never gonna need this in real life.

Planned by Team Leader Carrie, students were divided into older and younger groups, transitioning with their parents from center to center. Children and adults alike were given the opportunity to see the importance and relevance of math in the world around them.

Younger students were treated to a color by numbers activity with the beloved Ms. Nia. Magical Mr. Carson increased length awareness by having students find items around the room by the measurements. And students combined practical skills and Common Core standards by having fun telling analog time with the effervescent Ms. Katie.

Older students were treated to the smooth, sultry voice of Mr. Ruben as he gave a practical dissertation on the intersection of mathematics and art. The brave Ms. Molly gave students a hands-on lesson in measurement by way of scavenger hunt. Lastly, students were treated to the smooth and stoic Mr. Ryan as he led students in an economics based board game designed by the nimble Ms. Carrie.

In algebra, X represents the unknown, and is the mystery to which we seek to find meaning. As we live and grow in our lives, we seek and make meanings in our own ways – we balance the equations in our lives to find our own X, our own meanings, and our own answers. X, though it represents the unknown, also marks the spot. After Math in Real Life, students and parents left with equipped with the tools to take their learning into their own hands – to see that math really is all around us.

-Ruben Raskin, Corps Member, Walmart Foundation Team at Horace Cureton Elementary School

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