Site URL: Thirteen.org/Get-The-Math/
Content: Get the Math combines video and Web interactivity to help middle- and high-school students develop algebraic thinking skills for solving real-world problems.
Design: The site can look a bit busy, but this is understandable, as the designers are clearly aiming to attract young people. Smooth video integration and easily comprehended challenges avoid any possible confusion on the part of users.
Review: Built upon a video-based algebra game, the site draws on conventions of popular reality TV shows. Video segments begin with profiles of young professionals, who then pose job-related challenges to two teams of teens. Viewers can try the challenges themselves using the interactive tools before returning to the video to see the teams’ solutions. Students can further explore the game, as well as extended algebraic concepts, through additional interactive challenges on the site.
The video segments and interactive challenges focus on math in a number of fields including music, fashion, video games, basketball and others. All feature prominent people in their respective field, and all are based on a specific algebraic discipline. For example, NBA player Elton Brand describes his path to a career in the NBA before posing a challenge related to free-throw shooting. The teams use three key variables—release height, initial vertical velocity and acceleration of gravity—to calculate the maximum height the ball will reach on its way into the basket. This challenge focuses on the Algebra I concept of quadratic functions.
Bottom Line: Get the Math is a great site for reinforcing math concepts with tweens and teens while giving them a glimpse of how these concepts are used in real-world situations and careers.