OMES students apply math to real world
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
NORTH SHELBY—Oak Mountain Elementary School third graders showed off their real world understanding of math to friends and family during a math fair on Feb. 19.
Students in Jennifer Northrop and Janet Butterfield’s classes chose a topic they were passionate about, then, they researched how math applied to it. Topics ranged from video games to world travel.
“Their assignment was to take any topic they’re passionate and come up with five ways that topic involves math,” Northrop explained. “Once they got started, it really wasn’t hard.”
Students researched their topic using books and various Internet search engines, then they compiled their information into a speech and accompanying PowerPoint, display board or poster.
On Feb. 19, students presented their hard work to friends and family during an evening math fair.
“They had a blast with it. They loved working on (the project),” Northrop said of her third grade students. “They were really proud of their work.”
The project reinforced the topics the students learned in class, such as multiplication, division and calculating area and perimeter, Northrop said, noting one student applied math to his favorite sport, racing. The student applied math to different aspects of the sport, such as how long each car could take during stops and “how many tires each car gets.”
“(The goal was) just to really learn that math is all around us,” Northrop said. “Everything we do and use involves math.”
The project also involved many of the standards involved in the third grade curriculum, including research, technology, speaking and listening standards, Northrop explained.
The Feb. 19 math fair saw 100 percent participation from students and their families. An entirely in-class project, the math fair gave parents the opportunity to see what their children were learning and gave students the chance to show off their work.
Northrop said she has received positive feedback from both students and parents who attended the math fair, noting she “definitely” hopes to repeat the project.