Hi! It’s Monday, March 4, 2013 and time for Math at ClickSchooling!
Age Range: 10 and up (approximately; parents should preview and supervise)
In many episodes of the popular animated sitcom, The Simpsons, there are references to mathematics including arithmetic, geometry, and calculus that uncover and poke fun of mathematical illiteracy. As explained at the website, “Al Jean, Executive Producer and head writer, has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvard University.”
Two math professors saw the potential to use math references in The Simpsons as an “ideal source of fun ways to introduce important concepts to students, and to reduce math anxiety and motivate students…”
When you get to the site, you’ll see a brief introduction, followed by a menu that includes:
*Mathematics on the Simpsons – Read a few articles that reveal where and how math is used in various episodes.
*Engaging Students with Related Mathematics – Get free “Activity Sheets” based on math references in random episodes of The Simpsons. They are designed for classroom use (but can be tweaked for homeschooling) and cover concepts such as:
- The Pythagorean Theorem
- Geometry and Multi-Dimensional Shapes
- Arithmetic and Number Theory
- Pre-Calculus and Calculus
You’ll also find links to media coverage in which the writers and other crew members talk about the math and science in The Simpsons’ episodes. And there are suggestions and cautions for teachers about using pop culture in the curriculum as well.
BONUS! Mathematics on Futurama! That’s right, the science fiction cartoon series has math and science references in almost every episode. One of the comedy writers on Futurama has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard and you can read about his “inside jokes” in various episodes. The site is similar to The Simpsons math site, and contains free Futurama math worksheets.
Note: While these programs may be pop culture icons, some contain controversial subject matter. As always, parents must preview the material and supervise Internet access.