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Thirteen Creates GET THE MATH To Help Middle and High School Students Develop Algebraic Thinking

Thirteen, New York City's public television station, has created GET THE MATHa convergent media project designed to help middle and high school students develop algebraic thinking skills for solving real world problems. Drawing on conventions of popular reality TV shows, video segments begin with profiles of young professionals, who then pose challenges connected to their jobs to two teams of teens. At that point viewers are encouraged to try the challenges themselves using interactive tools provided on the GET THE MATH website, before returning to the video to see the teams’ solutions. Students can further explore the same algebra concepts through additional interactive challenges on the website.

Video segments and interactive challenges focus on:

  • Fashion: Chloe Dao, a Texas-based fashion designer and the season two winner of Project Runway, uses math on a day-to-day basis. She asks students to use both proportional reasoning and their sense of style to modify a design in order to get the retail price below a target of $35.
  • Videogames: Julia Detar, a videogame developer at the New York City-based company Arkadium, uses math when she develops online and Facebook games. Julia presents a challenge around a simplified “Asteroids”-type game that introduces basic concepts behind programming. Students use coordinate graphing and linear equations to plot the path of a spaceship and avoid a collision with an oncoming asteroid.
  • Music: Manny Dominguez and Luis Lopez, who perform as the hip-hop duo DobleFlo, write and produce music in collaboration with The Brooklyn Label, an independent record company. They draw on their math skills regularly, particularly when using music production software. The challenge prompts students to use proportional reasoning to calculate the tempo of an instrumental sample, so they can adjust the tempo of an electronic drum track to match it.

On this website you will find:

  • In THE CHALLENGES: video segments presenting the career profiles and related algebra challenges; interactive tools to help students solve the challenges; video clips showing how the teams solved each challenge; and Web-only extensions of the challenges using similar interactive tools to further explore the same math concepts.
  • In VIDEO: a collection of all the challenge-related video segments along with an animated “Get the Math” music video and the complete GET THE MATH half-hour program.
  • In ABOUT: Q&As with the professionals and the teams, answers to frequently asked questions, and production credits.
  • In TEACHERS: online resources for teachers, including a training video showing how to use project materials in the classroom and a teacher’s guide with lesson plans.
  • Plus: downloadable MP3s on the homepage of music by DobleFlo.

For more information on GET THE MATH , visit their website here.

Below is a preview of GET THE MATH .

Watch the full episode. See more THIRTEEN Kids.



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