Mathematics and science are woven together from the very fabric of their nature. A strong foundation in math leads to success in the sciences as all professions focused on science require an understanding of math. Science relies heavily on empirical (observational) evidence and quantitative (measured) data. All data must ultimately be analyzed using statistics to draw scientific conclusions! The foundation for statistics is laid during early mathematical lessons in the elementary and middle school classroom through mean, median, mode, and range. The use of equations prevails throughout all science disciplines from biology to astrophysics, which is why it is so important that students have a strong mathematical footing from an early age.
The term science encompasses a wide variety of disciplines and professions. A scientist discovers patterns and meaningful relationships in data which could be the amount of pollution in our rivers to investigating the rate at which the universe is expanding. Each of these scientists is developing an understanding of how our world works through the application of mathematical principles. An environmental scientist may take multiple measurements of dissolved oxygen concentrations in lakes that can then be averaged. Repeating this pattern would provide an understanding of the necessary oxygen levels for various species to thrive in the lake. In future tests, if a number was not close to the average, scientists could begin to understand the ramifications on various populations. Using math, ecologists complete environmental assessments to determine the level of concern when looking at pollution or toxic waste in an ecosystem.
Equations are used in health sciences to determine the number of radioactive isotopes remaining after a period in the body, but they are also used by geologist and paleontologist to date the ages of rocks and fossils. Equations can: predict bacterial growth in soils, water, and humans; tell us unknown information about a chemical in a titration; and send rockets soaring into the air. Without math, scientists would be unable to measure, collect, organize, or analyze all the information that they gather to help us learn about our planet and the universe in which we live. The success of our future scientists depends on their initial comprehension of math!
As we struggle to understand the new Common Core standards, let’s look at some of the connections between the standards and the real-world application they provide to students interested in the sciences. Classroom learning is evolving, and we’re here to help with the Common Core standards. Providing the proper resources to supplement your child’s classroom learning experience can help boost confidence and pave the way for a brighter future for your child, with limitless possibilities.