The phrase “Math is useful for everyday life.” is often repeated to students throughout the course of their education. However, demonstrating that fact in a creative way, so as to engage students, can be a trickier task. Angela Morse, our middle school math instructor, is constantly looking for imaginative ways to do just that. Her middle school students often talk about how she helps math “make sense”, so I visited her classroom to get an inside look at how she does it! Read on to see some of the projects they have done.

• Geometry: The Pythagorean Spiral
Students learned about the Pythagorean Theorem and created a spiral using right triangles. They then found the length of each side of the triangle using the Pythagorean Theorem and designed a picture that incorporated the spiral.

• Pre-Algebra 2: Area and Perimeter
Now your kids can help you with that list of home improvement projects! For this exercise, students used yard/meter sticks to measure everything in the classroom (tables, whiteboard, door, cabinets, etc.). They then found the area and perimeter of each.

• Pre-Algebra 2: Castle Project
Students delved into architecture by incorporating geometric shapes into castle drawings. Then they used their math skills to find the surface area and volume of each shape.

Algebra: Chart Pros & Cons
Choosing the right chart for the job is essential whenever you are presenting data. Algebra students learned about the various kinds of graphs and their ability to show data. They then gathered data on a variety of subjects and created graphs that best reflected those details.

• All Math Classes: Skyline with Pi
Pie is delicious, but it’s not quite as useful as “Pi”. For this assignment, students graphed the digits of Pi and turned it into a beautiful skyline.