Solving The Real Life Problems

May 21, 2020 | Location Fishers

When studying any school subject, math can often help you make the grade! History, science, English... Math can also help you tackle real life challenges. Mathematical models have been one of the driving forces behind policies around the COVID-19 pandemic. It brings math into our daily lives, through the mathematical models built on a foundation of calculus, statistics and probability. Try this week’s word problems to see how you can combine math with your favorite subjects to tackle and solve the real life problems. 


Find the word problem below that’s the right skill level for you, and give it a try. Take your time working it out — no peeking! When you feel you’ve found the answer, look below to check your solution against ours. Enjoy your fun math practice, and be sure to check back often for more!

Lower Elementary:
Question: In Mrs. Olson’s first grade class, math lessons start at 1:05 PM. and end 65 minutes later. At what time do Mrs. Olson’s math lessons end?

Upper Elementary:
Question: Matthew learns in history class that the first presidential election in the United States happened in 1789, the second happened in 1792, and the rest have happened every 4 years since then. The most recent election was in 2016. How many presidential elections have happened in the United States in total?

Middle School:
Question: Jack’s science homework is to measure the temperature outside at 7 p.m. each day for a week. On Monday, his thermometer reads 77°F, but his homework asks for the temperature in Celsius. Since the temperature in Celsius is equal to five-ninths of the quantity 32 less than the temperature in Fahrenheit, what should Jack write down on his homework?

Algebra and Up:
Question: One half of Hailey’s overall English grade comes from test scores. One fifth of her grade comes from quizzes. Another fifth comes from homework. The rest comes from classroom participation. If Hailey has an average test score of 92%, an average quiz score of 80%, an average homework score of 75%, and a classroom participation score of 100%, what is her overall grade as a percentage?

Have you worked out the answer to the word problem you chose? Take your time finding the solution, we know you can do it! When you’re ready to check your work, look below to find our solutions.

Lower Elementary:
Answer: 2:10 PM
Solution: Since 60 minutes is an hour, 65 minutes is 1 hour and 5 minutes. One hour after 1:05 PM is 2:05 PM, and 5 minutes after that is 2:10 PM.

Upper Elementary:
Answer: 58 presidential elections
Solution: First, we subtract 1792 from 2016 to find that it’s been 224 years since the second presidential election. Next, we divide 224 by 4 to find that there have been 56 election cycles since 1792. Finally, we add 2 elections for the 1st and 2nd presidential elections that we haven’t counted so far for a total of 58 presidential elections.

Middle School:
Answer: 25°C
Solution: We need to find five-ninths of 32 less than 77. First, we subtract 32 from 77 to get 45. Next, we find five-ninths of 45. Since one-ninth of 45 is 5, five-ninths of 45 is 5 × 5 = 25. So, Jack should write down 25°C on his homework.

Algebra and Up:
Answer: 87%
Solution: To answer this question, we multiply each of Hailey’s average scores by the fractional part of her score represented by that category, then we add it all together. So: 0.5 × 0.92 + 0.2 × 0.75 + 0.2 × 0.8 + 0.1 × 1 = 0.46 + 0.15 + 0.16 + 0.1 = 0.87 = 87%.

How did you do? Remember anyone can succeed in math if they put enough effort into it. Inspiring story of Emily Huang, a mathematics trailblazer inspiring fellow female students. 

It's been a fantastic month working with your children each week! We're hoping that May is filled with equally as much joy, love, and hard work. For more fun ways to learn math, visit The Mathnasium of Fishers.  

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