Looking for math project ideas? Need some ways to bolster your child's math education? Fun math lessons and projects can spur a love for problem solving if the projects are set up right. Try these math projects to help your child see the value of good math skills.
Draw And/Or Build A Model House To Scale
Challenge your child to draw a room or your house to scale on graph paper. The math required to do this project will have your child working with ratios, multiplication and division. If you want to take the project even further, have your child try to build a room or house to scale. This will require skills that future architects and civil engineers need to determine what kinds of materials can handle certain amounts of weight and other such science and math questions.
Real-Life Math Problems
Some math homework doesn't seem to have a real-life purpose, but many kids understand math better when it is put to good use. Look up a local project-for example, the building of a new highway-and have your kids work on calculations to determine how much material would need to be used to build the project in question. This will involve detailed research on how much building material is used for a mile of highway, mapping out the new route and calculating out the expenses for the project.
If this is too much research for you, scale down the project to something like creating a garden in your backyard. Measure out how big a garden could be, and then give your child the challenge of figuring out how many retaining wall blocks would need to be laid to surround the garden and how many bags of topsoil would need to be bought and used. Help your child price out the project, and estimate the labor and materials necessary to complete the project. This should give your child a new respect for the projects people do in real life.
College Expense Estimation
Show your child how much it costs per credit at a local college. Have your child figure out how much it will cost to send her to four years of college. Then take a look at her savings account, and talk about ways to make that money grow to meet the end goal.
Solar System Model
Have your child do the calculations to figure out what distances would be involved in making a solar system model to scale. Have your child determine what the size differences would be between the sun, each of the planets and the moon. Have your child choose objects of the appropriate sizes, and figure out on a map how far apart these items would have to be spaced for the model to be to scale.
Card Probability Project
If you're a blackjack player, you may already know some of these answers. Have your child guess what the chances are of getting a sum of 21 while playing blackjack. Visit blackjackinfo.com for the rules. Now have your child and a friend play black jack for 500 hands, keeping count of how many cards were laid before a person hit 21 exactly and how many times a perfect 21 was scored in those 500 hands. Divide the answer by five to get a percentage idea of how many times a person could expect a perfect 21 in the game of blackjack.
Dice Probability Project
If your child likes to play Monopoly, try this dice probability game to determine what number combinations are most common for dice. Have your child and a friend roll 2 6-sided dice 500 times, recording the results of each roll every time. Which number combinations were most common? What is the average space move in an average turn?
Are your children asking: Why is math important? Instead of explaining the history of mathematics to your child, try making math concepts such as economics and engineering computations practical to them.
Is your child interested in learning about famous mathematicians? Check out these interesting facts about influential mathematicians.