We live in a time where paper maps have become a memory of days gone by. If we want to find the directions to where we are going, it is as simple as typing an address in our telephone and letting our GPS do the rest. It is definitely a lot easier to get from point A to point B, but something has been lost along the way.
Why would math teachers at Oak Hill Academy, top private school in Monmouth County, have their students study maps? Have you ever considered the possibility that there were math concepts behind the numbering system of our highways? Anyone who has traveled from New Jersey through Washington DC into Virginia would have noticed signs for I-95, I-195, I-295, I-395, I-495 and I-695. Although at times we all may have thought the reason behind this was to torment the drivers, there is a math concept behind the system!
Studying the numbering system of the Interstate Highways was the underlying math concept in a project that the 7th Grade Math Workshop students worked on during class.
There was a lot of excitement in the classes when the teachers handed out the “old fashioned” paper maps of the United States. The students took a few minutes to explore the maps before beginning the project. Students answered questions such as what is the pattern for the 2 digit interstates and what is the pattern for the 3 digit interstates? Once students understood the numbering pattern, they answered questions including why does I-35 bisect the country and not I-55 and name three different states and cities in which you would discover an intersection of two interstates whose numbers sum to 105.
Using unique methods such as this project to teach our students is commonplace at Oak Hill Academy. This is precisely why Oak Hill Academy is considered the best private school in Monmouth County.
~Mrs. Rita Cotterell