I always knew that April was the month for mathematics! At least… I thought I knew that.
Just for kicks and giggles, I looked on the internet to see what other things are claiming April as their month and I found lots! This is just some of the ones I found:
- Public Schools Month
- School Library Month
- National Pet Month
- Stress Awareness Month
- Jazz Appreciation Month
- Autism Awareness Month
- Confederate History Month
- Month of the Military Child
- Financial Literacy Month
- National Poetry Month
- National Volunteer Month
(Those who know me should not be surprised that I was fully aware that it was also Jazz Appreciation Month!)
But… WOW! I know there are only 12 months in the year, but… wow! Then, there are also the “Week of …” weeks, and the “Day of the …” days, …
So let’s get back to mathematics!
Mathematics Awareness Month began in 1986 as Mathematics Awareness Week with a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan, who said in part:
”Despite the increasing importance of mathematics to the progress of our economy and society, enrollment in mathematics programs has been declining at all levels of the American educational system. Yet the application of mathematics is indispensable in such diverse fields as medicine, computer sciences, space exploration, the skilled trades, business, defense, and government. To help encourage the study and utilization of mathematics, it is appropriate that all Americans be reminded of the importance of this basic branch of science to our daily lives.”
President Ronald Reagan in Proclamation 5461 – National Mathematics Awareness Week, April 17, 1986
Now, many organizations promote this awareness through their websites and resources:
Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month is a program of the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) – a collaborative effort of the American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. This year’s theme is “Math Drives Careers”. On this site you will find a poster to hang in your classroom, activities to do with students, information about social media, etc.
The National Education Association has a site organized by grade spans of K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 focus. It is full of lesson plans & activities, professional development opportunities, and resources to use with your students.
There is even a National Math Festival! The National Math Festival is a free event open to the public on Saturday April 22, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, D.C. Come to this day of lectures, hands-on demonstrations, art, films, performances, puzzles, games, children’s book readings, and more, for toddlers to adults of all ages!
I encourage you to go online and find the resources that you want to use to highlight mathematics this month. Please take this opportunity to talk to students, administrators, parents, and community members about the importance of mathematics in our world. As AMS says… Mathematics Drives Careers!