With all the focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs in school, the “M” part of this acronym continues to be a crucial part of every student’s curriculum. To that end, this subject has a role in the makeup of newspapers and their place in culture. Numbers are found in budget stories, calculating winning percentages for teams in the sports section and even determining the amount of people who may be affected by various government policies.
The following are exercises students can do to get a taste of the role mathematics plays in your newspaper.
• Look through your newspaper to find the following shapes: squares, circles, rectangles, triangles, ovals and cylinders. Use a marker to trace the outline of each shape.
• Pretend you were just given $100 to purchase 10 things you find in the newspaper. Circle the 10 items in the newspaper and calculate the total price. Who can come the closest to spending $100 without going over that amount?
• Select three display ads or pictures from the newspaper. What is the perimeter and area of each?
• Divide your class into teams. Give each team an imaginary $500. Which team can purchase 10 items and come the closest to $500 without going over. For advanced students, have them add sales tax to the items.