How do you feel about math? Many people say they either love or hate math, with no middle ground. They think if they aren’t really good at it then they must be really bad at it, or that if they don’t have a STEM job where they use math all the time then they will probably have a job where they don’t need it at all.
The reality is that none of these is true. Math is for everybody. It is sometimes called the “universal language” because everybody uses it and everybody needs it.
Math is all around us — we use it every day, often without even thinking about it. The math we use to calculate our grocery bill or plan out the mileage on a road trip is pretty obvious, but we use math in other ways that are not so obvious. According to Mike Lefkowitz of the Mind Research Institute, “mathematics gives us the critical ability to learn and think logically in any field of endeavor.” In this way, even thinking philosophically about an ethical issue utilizes skills that are honed by a good math education. Whether you’re comparing prices at the mall or comparing politicians on the ballot, you’re using critical math skills.
As for the idea that only STEM jobs require math, we have news for you: EVERY job requires some kind of math. While it may be more obvious how a neuroscientist or a software engineer uses math in their jobs, we have found that other careers require math in ways that are more subtle but just as pervasive. Planning to be a carefree jazz celebrity? You’ll need math for that. Do you think you’ll escape math if you focus on a career in the arts? Turns out artists need math too. Escaping into archaeology? Charting your own course as an entrepreneur? Yep, you guessed it, both require math.
The need for a basic awareness of the importance of math in our lives and economy is so great that since it was first proclaimed in 1986, the Mathematics Awareness Week has been expanded to the entire month of April, and been renamed as Mathematics And Statistics Awareness Month.
This Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, make a time to make friends with math! Learn a little bit about interesting mathematicians throughout history, read an interesting book about math, or find some fun math games to practice with your friends and family.
Additionally, download these number search activities to help you have a little fun with math, and celebrate the math you find in everyday life.
April Number Search for Lower Elementary
April Number Search for Upper Elementary