Get the Math is about algebra in the real world. On the website, students can see how professionals use math in music, fashion, video games, restaurants, basketball, and special effects. Then, students can take interactive challenges related to those careers.
Video segments and interactive challenges focus on the math in:
- Music: Manny Dominguez and Luis Lopez, who perform as the hip-hop duo DobleFlo, write and produce music in collaboration with The Brooklyn Label, an independent record company. They draw on their math skills regularly, particularly when using music production software. The challenge prompts students to calculate the tempo (beats per minute) of an instrumental sample, so they can adjust the tempo of an electronic drum track to match it (Algebra I concept: Proportional reasoning).
- Fashion: Chloe Dao, a Texas-based fashion designer and the season two winner of Project Runway, uses math on a day-to-day basis. She asks students to use both algebra and their sense of style to modify a design in order to get the retail price below a target of $35 (Algebra I concepts: percent markup; writing and solving linear inequalities; cost analysis).
- Video games: Julia Detar,a videogame developer at the New York City-based company Arkadium, uses math when she develops online and Facebook games. Julia presents a challenge around a simplified “Asteroids”- type game that introduces basic concepts behind programming. Students use algebraic thinking to plot the path of a spaceship and avoid collision with an oncoming asteroid (Algebra I concepts: Coordinate graphing; rate of change; linear equations; distance formula; Pythagorean Theorem).
- Restaurants: Sue Torres, chef/owner of the restaurant Sueños, talks about the challenge of keeping prices on her menu affordable as prices rice. The teams analyze past avocado prices to predict prices for the next 14 months, and use this prediction to recommend a menu price for guacamole for the coming year (Algebra I concept: Line of best fit).
- Basketball: NBA player Elton Brand describes his path to a career in the NBA before posing a challenge related to free throw shooting. The teams use three key variables – release height, initial vertical velocity, and acceleration of gravity – to calculate the maximum height the ball will reach on its way into the basket (Algebra I concept: Quadratic functions).
- Special Effects: Jeremy Chernick from J&M Special Effects discusses the process of creating special effects for film and video, including one effect created for a music video by the band Freelance Whales. The teams are challenged to figure out the mathematical relationship between two important variables that affect the look of a shot – light intensity and distance from the light source (Algebra I concepts: Inverse relationships; inverse square law).
You (your teens) might want to check it out!
It will be fun. And fun learning is forever learning!