Real Life Math Students Learn to Apply Math in Everyday Situations

Allison Robinson, Senior Photographer

In addition to Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry, high school students have the option to take Real Life Math. Real Life Math gives students a more hands-on approach to how math is applied in our everyday lives.

“Real life Math is about looking at the topics that you learned in your previous math classes and applying them to different real life situations. So, instead of just looking at systems of equations, we look at them as revenue and cost functions that have a break even point”, Real Life Math teacher, Mrs. Rice said.

A bake sale project is the perfect example. Students broke down a recipe cost to find the cost per baked good. After finding the raw cost, they then apply a markup and calculate their profit.

According to Mrs. Rice, “you learn about quadratic equations in algebra and in this class we use them to predict where a projectile would land. We also practice basic skills like proportions, measuring and modeling in different situations.” It’s kind of like a catapult.

This project was based on designing and building a catapult to launch pumpkins. When launched, the pumpkin creates a parabolic trajectory which then enables the students to calculate and graph the distance of the projectile pumpkin.

They started with a small catapult made with popsicle sticks and rubber bands, launching the mallow candy pumpkins. Then students moved on to the big catapult, launching small real pumpkins. This project also gives students a better understanding on how to take more accurate measurements (and how to use power tools).

“I think the class helps prepare students for the real world or their future jobs by helping them to see math outside of the textbook and using logic and math reasoning in different ways. Even if our projects don’t necessarily align with future professions exactly, the thought process and hands-on work helps students feel more comfortable with math and more willing to think mathematically about problems,” Mrs. Rice said.