A critical subject that touches nearly every part of modern life, math often flies under the radar. Countless high school teachers have heard their students ask that seemingly ubiquitous question, “When will we ever use this?” Unfortunately, because they often regard math as a niche subject without real world merit, American kids are falling behind the rest of the world, when it comes to math aptitude. To promote higher achievement in this fundamental subject, it’s important that kids understand how it will impact their lives in the coming years.
Math Is Everywhere
Mathematics is a major part of our world; however, many people overlook its importance. In addition to countless other areas, math plays a big role in the following:
- Cooking – Math is a major factor in the kitchen, where conversions and fractions help determine failure or success. In cooking, each ingredient is measured in kilograms, grams, pounds, ounces, tablespoons, or teaspoons. To serve multiple people, you have to know the proper way to multiply or divide based on the recipe you are working with.
- Budgets – American students have fallen way behind other countries in math. Sadly, this problem has been around for decades, resulting in numerous adults, who consistently mismanage their money. Millions of Americans have found themselves in credit card debt, because they haven’t been able to balance their budgets. If you want your children to successfully manage their money as adults; it’s important that they excel at math during their school years.
- Building – Whether you’re an amateur putting together a shelf or a professional building a house, you need math to do the job properly. Building guidelines require the understanding of measurements in feet, inches, meters, or centimeters. Without the appropriate knowledge, builders would be like rudderless ships sailing in the ocean without knowing their destinations.
- Diet – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 78 million Americans are overweight. To calculate an effective dieting program, people need math to understand exactly how many calories they should be consuming based on their height and weight.
- Work – Good math skills are a critical necessity for numerous professionals, including: engineers, physicians, researchers, teachers, attorneys, ecologists, statisticians, inventory strategists, chemists, accountants, carpenters, landscapers, architects, biologists and countless more. In fact, studies suggest that people who have good math skills tend to make much higher salaries when compared to those who don’t. Part of this is because math-related jobs pay more; however, it’s also due to math itself. In fact, according to the experts at College Board, when high school kids complete just a single geometry course, they are 80 percent more likely to attend college.
Turning the Tide
To the chagrin of teachers everywhere, math skills are declining. In a recent report ranking worldwide math aptitude, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranked American students fifth to last in a list of 30 nations. To reverse this disturbing trend, parents and educators must focus on new ways to get kids interested in this critical subject, before inadequate skills lead to big problems during their adult lives.