Fearlessly Helping Students Take Math Into the Real World
October 25, 2017
Math is about more than just numbers. And taking math out of the classroom and into a more practical application is an important element of expanding the horizons for students who may not know all the ways math becomes useful in the real world.
It’s why Dr. Joy Bell, Principal of Firewheel Christian Academy in Garland, believes so strongly in arming students with the tools they need. “You want to make sure students are prepared to compete in a global economy,” says Bell. “It’s not just computation, but what you do with numbers…You have to be able to take problems, however they are presented to you, and find solutions.”
It’s one of the main reasons Explore Horizons’ Young Mathematicians’ Awards focuses on problem solving, and higher level thinking skills. The Young Mathematicians’ Awards selects math teams across the DFW area to compete against each other, and inspires them to think differently and more critically.
Alastair Dawe, the Head of U.S. Operations for Explore Horizons, has a math and physics degree himself, and knows just how important a math background can be for kids and adults. “I would recommend the study of math because it gives you insights to the world around you that words and feelings do not,” says Dawe. “I love the way that math can open your eyes to immeasurable possibilities.”
As Dawe explains, math is a conduit to what a person experiences in life on a daily basis: “Whether you’re in the supermarket, dealing with your own money, or, as I like to do, reading the statistics of your favorite football team, a good understanding of math gives you that extra insight into what’s going on around you and can sometimes help you make a difficult decision.”
Dr. Bell has previously been involved with Explore Horizons with the Young Writers’ Awards, and recognizes the way learning at Explore Horizons goes beyond the classroom: “I love how Explore Horizons approaches everything. It’s really out of the box, it’s cutting edge and research-based. It’s where we are in education.”
Problem solving is an important skill for a “fearless learner,” a concept Dr. Bell speaks highly of, because of the way it prepares students for what comes next. “At times as adults we have to jump when we don’t know if there’s a foundation underneath,” says Bell.
One workshop tied to our Young Mathematicians’ Awards is happening November 1, in partnership with Microsoft. Find out more here.
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