Museum Mathematics

Which of the following does not belong: Peanut Butter and Jelly; Fall and Football; Milk and Cookies; Freedom Museum and Math?

The last…or so you might think. On Friday Mrs. Mize’s math classes took a trip out of the traditional math classroom and into history to learn how math does not just apply to their pencils, paper, and textbooks, but is woven into the world around us, both present and past.

“The goal for our trip was for my math students to see that the concepts we talk and learn about in class can be applied to so many more things than just solving a problem from their book. Numbers and the value associated with them have been written into history. My desire was for each student to connect concepts such as percents, estimation, measurement and statistics, scale drawings, and exponents to our history.”

One great example of the value of applying numbers to history came when Mrs. Bynum of the Freedom Museum explained to the students that although it may appear that the North lost more men than the South in the War of Northern Aggression, when one figures the percent of men lost to the total population, the South suffered a greater loss. Mrs. Bynum also explained the importance of “keeping” the numbers” to calculate the cost war has on all involved.

At the end of their visit, each student was asked to create their own math problem that was specifically relevant to one of the topics they will learn about this year.

“I feel so blessed to be a part of creating history by taking my students to our amazing museum which happens to be the only teaching museum in the U.S. I am also thrilled and in awe of all the hard work that our museum staff have put into this museum. I am planning on bringing my students throughout the year as Mrs. Bynum and Mrs. Hommel have created scavenger hunts and dozens of math problems that apply to almost all of the units I teach,” said Mrs. Mize.

museum math