Web talk: Figure this

Published Dec 22, 2012 02:58am

Math can also be fun — from puzzles to games to solving problems. Math stretches our imagination and allows us to reach logical conclusions. And in today’s fast-paced world, careers ranging from auto mechanics to electricians, architects to doctors to pilots, all require a sound knowledge of mathematics.

And in order to adapt to a new environment, we need to know more of this subject. So today, we will visit a website that is dedicated to math only — http://www.figurethis.org/index.html Let’s figure out how the website educates us. The interface of Figure this! is quite simple with a menu at the top allowing you to choose from ‘Teacher corner’, ‘Family corner’, ‘Challenge index’ and ‘Math index’.

The first two sections, Teacher and Family corners, are dedicated to parents and teachers separately, with specially designed resource material to help recognise the many ways they can work and help their children. The support material includes suggestions to help with math homework, information on the changes in math, education examples of math in literature, etc.

But you should not go into the detail of these sections as they are designed specifically for your parents and teachers.

Start with ‘Challenge index’, where cartoon characters Polygon, Tessellation, Exponent, Tangent and Axis illustrate challenges.

For instance, each challenge features its description — a note where math has been used in our daily life; a hint, solutions, additional related problems with answers, questions to think about, fun facts, resources to further exploring the problems and lots more.

‘Math index’ is detailed and categorised in sub-sections such as algebra, measurements, geometry, statistics and probability — as said earlier, all of these are explained in a friendly manner with examples taken from our daily life. So if you don’t know how long it takes your heart to beat 1000 times, take the challenge, estimate your heart rate in beats per minute… wait for a minute, am I giving you hints? Well, I stop here. Go on and do it yourself!

As far as the layout of the website is concerned, it is simple yet interesting and clutter-free making it easy to remain on the subject.

Figure This! emphasises on the importance of high-quality math education for all students and offers fun exercises and activities they can do at home and with their families. So, now, no more running away from math. Let’s take a math challenge! — Aamir Raz Soomro


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