What is the best way to get high school students interested in math?
Provide real-world applications.
Many high-school students only pay enough attention in school to pass their tests, and then justify their actions by saying that they will never need the skills being taught.
Create real-life situations that involve math. This way they have to solve problems that they will certainly encounter in the world later. The situations can be increased slowly to reflect the complexity of the mathematical problem.
This approach does have its limitations and is usually effective at the GED level or slightly higher. But it's also effective in specific areas like flight training, industrial, retail, and others.
Make it fun! Also you might want to use real life situations that they encounter on a daily basis. Also you could use video games and other activities they are interested in. Forget the if train A leaves the station at 4PM and is traveling at 80 mph and if train B.....
I agree with the other hubbers about making it real. Some ideas are cooking or baking. They all like to eat and they all need to know measurements and math to make something. Make it challenging by only giving them one measuring cup and they would have to do the math to figure out how to make it work for the recipe. Double it or even half the recipe.
Another idea would be to have a Mock-Store and they would have to do the math for the daily expenses and income. Bring it down to a smaller level, for instance, how many units of milk would they need to make a day's worth of Ice cream in the ice cream machines like they have in Dairy Queen or McDonald's. How many servings does one unit of milk serve and the like.
Teach them in interesting way and make them understand fit to his/her brain in a way so that whenever you ask questions he/she remembers.
Hey trying playing a game of basketball if your math involves geometry, and or college level Statistics. I taught a few of my friends that couldn't understanding certain things in geometry with a game of basketball with shapes and different angles with the teammates.
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