Is Math Fun? Should it be?
I wrote a story for today's paper about wide ranging public relations campaigns to win the hearts and minds of the average American math student. Plenty of companies and foundations and teachers are trying to polish up math's image -- to make it seem more cool or fun.
Here's a link to an award-winning video called "Crank Dat Calculus" that a Virginia high school student designed to show how math can be fun. The Franklin County student won $3,000 from the National Math and Science Initiative, a non-profit that is also working to expand access to Advanced Placement classes and develop strong teacher preparation programs in math and science.
Experts disagree about whether singing raps about math concepts or rewriting text books with extra pictures or word problems about skateboarders is really the trick to engaging more students.
Math can be interesting all by itself if you don't get too fogged or behind. Many teachers I know try to lure students in with the concepts alone.
What do you think? Where do fun and games fit into math?
Michael Alison Chandler
May 16, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
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