CAREERS IN MATH:
FROM ASTRONAUTS TO ARCHITECTS
reviewed in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
The Careers in Math video kit consists of three components: the twenty-minute videotape Careers in Math: From Astronauts to Architects, seven copies of The Changing Times, a duplication of the newspaper seen in the videotape; and the Teacher's Resource Book, a ninety-five-page, three-ring binder, full of follow-up lessons and problem-solving practice sheets that complement the videotape. The Careers in Math video kit contains everything a teacher needs to implement a focus unit on careers that use mathematics.
The purpose of the video kit is to educate and motivate. The videotape exposes its viewers to the many different ways that mathematics is actually used in the workplace. The videotape begins with two teenagers looking through the newspaper to find a job that does not use mathematics. It alternates between clips of the teenagers and vignettes of adults in various jobs who describe how they use mathematics every day. The job hunters do not find a position that excludes mathematics. They become interested in the many ways that mathematics is used in the workplace.
The video kit is designed for use with students in grades 5-9. The format suites the audience well. The videotape uses a fast-paced approach, and the vignettes have just the right balance of "no nonsense," practical presentation and humor. The strongest feature of the video kit is its diversity. The materials do an excellent job presenting various careers, from plumbers to astronauts to fire fighters to engineers. The visual and printed matter contains diverse cultural groups and a balance of male and female participants. The materials really portray that mathematics is for everyone. My students felt that the message in this videotape was strong. One even suggested that it be shown to third graders, "before they give up on math."
The Careers in Math video kit would be an excellent addition to any middle school library. It is much more than an excellent twenty-minute videotape. The follow-up materials allow the teacher to maximize its motivating effects. The binder holds a wealth of materials that show the connections between mathematics and the world of careers. I highly recommend that every school serving grades 5-8 obtain at least one copy of the Careers in Math video kit.
Everly Estes Broadway, Durham Public Schools, Durham, NC 27702
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