Real world algebra is fun

Math in basketball, special effects and music? Why, yes! Discover algebra uses in the real world so you don't have to ask, "Why do I need to know this?" Back in high school, I regularly asked my Algebra teacher that question. Maybe you've asked this same question to your teacher. Luckily, there are a number of great Web sites that explain real world math in action. Get the Math does just that. In reality TV challenge style, teams of teens must solve a real world math problem presented to them by rising stars in their fields. 

Get the Math website screen shot.

Musical duo DobleFlo share how they use math to create hip-hop music. Fashion designer and winner of season two of Project Runway, Chloe Doe, illustrates how math helps her design drawings to become fashion reality. And did you know math is the secret behind a perfect free thow? Basketball star, Elton Brand, shows his challenge team how. In addition to these challenges, the six teams work to properly price guacemole on a restaurant menu, create the perfect special effect explosion and build a popular online video game. 

Screen shot of CyberChase website.

This online pre-algebra companion to PBS Kids' Cyberchase show explains real world uses of algebra with fun, animated and live action videos.  How does the super sleuth CyberSquad foil the Hacker trying to take over Cyberspace? Using math, of course!

But how does Algebra help me right now? I'm a librarian, not a fashion designer or a dubious hacker. Snowboarding! Did you know it uses real world algebra? Last winter I took my first snowboarding lessons and learned to link my turns (yay!) Now, this year, I plan to move off the bunny hill and onto longer runs, but I'm nervous of going too fast down the slopes. How fast am I going down a run? I watched this snowboarding on slopes video to figure this out:


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