1.Math helps you build things:
Ask any contractor or construction worker and they’ll tell you just how important math is when it comes to building anything. Creating something that will last and add value to your home out of raw materials requires creativity, the right set of tools, and a broad range of mathematics.
Figuring the total amount of bags of concrete needed for a slab, accurately measuring lengths, widths, and angles, and estimating project costs are just a few of the many cases in which math is necessary in real life home improvement projects.
Some students may say they don’t plan on working in construction and this may be true, but many will own a home at some point in their life. Having the ability to do minor home improvements will save a lot of money and headache. Armed with math, they will also have the ability to check the work and project estimates, ensuring they’re getting the best value.
2. Math is in the grocery store
One of the more obvious places to find people using math in everyday life is at your neighborhood grocery store. Grocery shopping requires a broad range of math knowledge from multiplication to estimation and percentages.
Calculating price per unit, weighing produce, figuring percentage discounts, and estimating the final price are all great ways to include the whole family in the shopping experience.
3. Math makes baking fun!
More math can be found in the kitchen than anywhere else in the house. Cooking and baking are sciences all their own and can be some of the most rewarding (and delicious) ways of introducing children to mathematics. After all, recipes are really just mathematical algorithms or self-contained step-by-step sets of operations to be performed. The proof is in the pudding!
Working in the kitchen requires a wide range of mathematical knowledge, including but not limited to:
measuring ingredients to follow a recipe
multiplying / dividing fractions to account for more or less than a single batch
converting a recipe from Celsius to Fahrenheit
converting a recipe from metric (mL) to US standard units (teaspoon, tablespoon, cups)
calculating cooking time per each item and adjusting accordingly
calculating pounds per hour of required cooking time
understanding ratios and proportions, particularly in baking (ex. the recipe calls for 1 egg and 2 cups of flour, then the ratio of eggs to flour is 1:2).
4. Math takes the risk out of travel
Math comes in handy when travelling and shows up in various ways from estimating the amount of fuel you’ll need to planning out a trip based on miles per hour and distance traveled. Calculating fuel usage is crucial to long distance travel. Without it, you may find yourself stranded without gas or on the road for much longer than anticipated. You may also use math throughout the trip by paying for tolls, counting exit numbers, checking tire pressure, etc.
Long before GPS and Google Maps, people used atlases, paper road maps, road signs, or asked for directions in order to navigate throughout the country’s highways and byways. Reading a map is almost a lost art, but requires just a little time, orientation, and some basic math fundamentals. Teaching students how to use their math skills to read maps will make them safer travelers and less dependent on technology.
In order to use any map, you must first orient yourself, meaning to find your current position on the map. This will be point A. The simplest way to do this is to locate the town you’re in then the nearby crossroads, intersection or an easily identifiable point such as a bridge, building, or highway entrance. Once you’ve established a starting point, locate where on you want to go (point B). Now you can determine the best route depending on terrain, speed limit, etc.
5. Math helps you save money
Many experts agree that without strong math skills, people tend to invest, save, or spend money based on their emotions. To add to this dilemma, those individuals with poor math fundamentals typically make greater financial mistakes like underestimating how quickly interest accumulates. A student who thoroughly grasps the concepts of exponential growth and compound interest will be more inclined to better manage debt.
Financial knowledge decays over time, so it’s important to keep young people involved. By continually showing how specific math lessons apply to real life financial situations and budgeting, kids can learn how to properly spend and save their money without fear or frustration.
6. Math lets you manage time
Time is our most valuable asset. Without proper planning, the day can slip through out fingers and our list of duties and responsibilities can start to accumulate. In our fast-paced, modern world, we can easily fall behind and get overwhelmed with all that we have to do. Keeping on schedule has greater weight in our daily lives than ever in history, but it takes more math skills than simply reading a clock or following a calendar to stay on top of everything.