Get the Math is a website that shows kids how to use math in the real world (thus proving that math is used in the real world!). Short videos demonstrate how professionals use math in music, fashion, video games, restaurants, special effects, and even basketball. Using real people in their real-world examples, like video game designer Julia Detar or restaurant owner Sue Torres, the site shares stories of how people and businesses use algebra in their daily lives. After watching the videos, kids can "Take the Challenge," tackling an algebra problem based on what they just saw, and when that's completed, there are further challenges on the same topic.
- Math in Video Games Video – Watch a movie clip where a designer writes functions to create video games.
- Videogame Challenge – Plot a linear path so that your spaceship won’t crash into the asteroid.
- Math in Music Challenge - Use algebra to match up the tempos of the drum track with an instrumental sample.
It's so good. Get the Math videos don’t just loosely connect math to the real world; everything is specific, clear, and presented in a totally relatable, fun way. Subjects are diverse, featuring many people of color and women in non-traditional industries. Some of the challenges are better than others; for the video game challenge, kids answer math questions in order to play a video game built by math, whereas it would be more authentic if they could create a function that in turn builds a small piece of a video game.
The Math in Music challenge is an excellent example of a problem that's interesting and has multiple possible ways to get to the correct answer; kids use math to mix music along with hip-hop artists DoubleFlo. It provides just the right amount of structure and support while still leaving the kids space to puzzle it out themselves. Our main complaint: It's too bad that the site's limited to algebra content; we want it for all the math subjects!
You might choose to use the setup video to introduce the website, but many middle and high school students may find it a little cheesy. Instead, pick a topic, like Math in Fashion, and show that specific introduction video to the kids -- these videos are great, and kids will respond positively. Then, let the kids work through the challenges in pairs, sharing a computer. You could use the follow-up challenges for each topic as an assessment, and make sure to check out the Teacher page for complete lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Math Standards and worksheets. Sample assessment questions for each unit are also provided.