Can a Weekly Video Series Make Students Love Math?
The Math52 video project aims to engage students in creative real-world applications of key topics.
Not many adults will admit not liking to read, but plenty will cop to hating math and boast they never use the skills they learned in school. And kids these days hate math so much that a full 61 percent middle schoolers say they’d rather take out the garbage than do their math homework.
Mathalicious, a 3-year-old creator of innovative math curriculum, wants to solve the problem through videos that make math fun. The company is hoping to raise enough Kickstarter funds to launch Math52, a weekly video series that features creative applications of the subject.
Math52 videos will stay away from the same old word problems and ask questions people actually wonder about: "Do people with small feet pay too much for shoes, and should Nike charge by weight?" "How far would you have to run to burn off a Big Mac, and what would happen if fast food restaurants rewrote their menus in terms of exercise?"
The advantage to students is obvious, but the series offers major benefits to teachers, too. No educator wants to deliver a boring math lesson, but they’re generally required to follow their district-mandated math curricula and often don’t have the time to delve deeper into concepts or make them applicable to the real world. Each Math52 video will come with a suggested lesson plan that can be modified to meet the classroom’s specific needs.
The Mathalicious team hopes to raise $164,000 to create the weekly Math52 lessons. That may seem like a lot of cash, but Karim Ani, the company's founder, offers a little perspective: "For less than what LeBron James makes in a single game," he says, "we can transform the way millions of children learn and help create a smarter, healthier and more curious generation of students." Sounds like a pretty good deal to us.