Why Math through Scratch Matters
If you’ve ever wondered out loud how math was ever gonna help you in life, well, then, Math through Scratch at Empow Studios might be your gateway to the integral, valuable, and–believe it or not–fun approach to mathematics and coding.
STEM education—what science, engineering, technology, and math can do in terms of understanding how things work—isn’t just for the classroom. STEM is a vital part of our current connected world; STEM curriculum provides a framework for learning, sure, but it also prepares students for meaningful careers.
Empow has a theory on effective learning, starting with programs like Scratch, that seeks to teach kids (or anyone, really) how math injects itself into so many other fields and how it can be used to learn computer coding, as well. Computer and math programming continues to be one of our world’s most vital industries— the foundations of the internet, business and financial sectors, service/entertainment applications, and much more are built on what humans have been able to achieve through programming and coding.
Specifically, though, Empow’s innovative Math through Scratch program is for students in the 4th and 5th grades; it’s a powerful, unique way to help kids understand key concepts in math and computing by using the engaging MIT Scratch. In class, students are challenged to code programs that demonstrate and solve math problems, leading to a richer, deeper understanding of both math and computer science while underscoring the fundamental skills necessary in logical reasoning problem-solving, program design, debugging, and algorithms.
Coding is a simple way of looking at math that might otherwise be difficult for kids.
This program is part one in a series of six consecutive programs covering critical math and computing concepts while also building excitement about these important fields. The series uses the power of Scratch to apply and learn critical math concepts in geometry (perimeter, angles, polygons), algebra (fractions, ratios, positive/negative integers), functional computation (multiplication/division, estimation, order), and more.
In a world where the gaps between “old” and “new” ways of doing math are ever-widening, how does Empow bridge the divide with this offering? “It’s appealing to kids, it’s modern and new,” notes Theo Swartz, Empow Studios’ IT and Support Manager. “There are a lot of ways to learn visually in Scratch, looking at patterns and symbols in interesting ways, and other programs are trying to emulate it now. And coding is a simple way of looking at math that might otherwise be difficult for kids.”
Makes you think a career in math isn’t just viable and interesting, but also…fun.