Math in the Real-World

When students learn that they need algebra, they get worried because of the complexity of
the equations. Because of this, some are turned off in doing algebra and never want to learn it.
Algebra has special jargon of numbers and letters which can be difficult for the student to
understand. The reason is because students don’t realize that algebra is among them in the
real world. Also, they don’t understand that studying algebra helps them in their future
careers. Here are three tips from the outside world that will enhance the student’s knowledge
in many real world events.
Tip #1 – Play Ground
Teenagers don’t understand that the playground that they played on is full of algebra equations. The
slide is a great example because it uses the slope equation and also uses Isaac Newton’s equations. The
swings are another example in that it encompasses the physics equations on motion. The seesaw is
another example in that it encompasses the equations on gravitational forces because when one person
goes up another person must come down. After looking at these elements on the playground,
students realize that they have been using equations through play.
Tip #2 Cooking
Most students love to explore the idea of cooking. Cooking allows the student the ability to use
algebra without them knowing it. Cooking allows the usage of fractions into the equations so that it can
be solved appropriately and use better measurements. For example, when a student is measuring
ingredients like a half cup of flour, students understand that the flour is half of a cup. Another example
is when a student is measuring liquids. The liquid is poured into the cup and then the amount that it
needs for the cake is measured in the measuring cup. This creates a fraction and is useful when
figuring out measurements of the ingredients. Students will learn cooking better if and when they
understand the role of fractions in algebraic equations.
Tip #3 Driving a Car
Students start driving at age 15 years and 8 months with their driving permit. Even though they are
nervous, they are curious about how the car moves. Cars move in a particular motion and students
learn about motion in physics class. Physics class has a few algebraic equations which pertain to the
three laws of motion. These equations not only help teenagers to understand how the car moves, but
they can put a car into motion by using algebraic equations that they learn in the classroom. By putting
algebra into what they will be doing everyday really helps students get a grasp to why algebra is a
necessity for them to learn.
Students have such an advantage today in that they can learn the algebra in the real world versus just
doing equations. More and more schools are actually doing more group work exercises in math
classrooms. By doing this, it has an incredible impact on the students who work in their groups. The
reason is because they not only are learning algebra, but they are increasing their communication skills,
learning teamwork skills, learning real world skills, and doing special projects that will help them into the
workforce. Algebra not only is numbers and letters, but it encompasses math in the real world.

Written By: Marcella Hay – Novastar Prep Coach


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