Happy Mathematics Awareness Month! You didn't think we'd let the month go by without celebrating math, did you? And with JiJi Day just around the corner, April might be our favorite month!
As we like to say here at MIND, math is from everywhere, in everything, and for everyone.
Celebrating mathematics in April started back in 1986 to expand public interest in math. This month is also devoted to increasing appreciation for how math and statistics impacts the different STEM fields and the other diverse fields where math plays an integral role.
What started as a week-long celebration, Math Awareness became a monthly celebration during the late 90's to encourage enrollment in math programs. The month-long celebration also strives to recognize math to benefit society and improve public health, as well as highlight its necessity in many other key areas of study and fields where math is indispensable.
For Mathematics Awareness Month, we've compiled some fun math facts, math jokes and puns, and engaging math activities and brainteasers everyone can enjoy. We also hope you'll see just how essential math is to your life in ways you may not have seen before.
Fun Math Facts
We love us some interesting math facts here at MIND. It's also another one of JiJi's favorite pastimes—thinking about all the fascinating math facts in between the loveable penguin's journey across your computer screen. JiJi's quite the math whiz!
Here are a few cool math facts that'll get your noggin thinking:
1.Celebrating a birthday anytime soon? Did you know that if you're in a room with exactly 23 people, there's a 50% chance that two people will share the same birthday?!
2.Between the numbers 0 to 1000, the only number—when spelled out—that has the letter a in it is one thousand.
3. Twelve plus one is an anagram of eleven plus two, which is pretty cool since both add up to thirteen. Also, both have thirteen letters!
4. Got a deck of cards nearby? If you do, go ahead and shuffle them thoroughly. It's very likely that the order of the shuffled cards has never been seen before. That's mind-blowing!
5. Here's a cool one. When you multiply numbers that only contain 1's, the answer will always be a palindromic number (a number that's the same backward as it is forwards).
6. Four is the only number (when written in English) spelled with the same number of letters as the number itself.
7. Ever heard the expression, "Be back in a jiffy!"? It basically just means you'll be back "very soon" or "quickly." But did you know that "jiffy" is an actual unit of time? It means 1/100th of a second.
8. Humans have been doing math as far back as 30,000 B.C., as indicated by markings on animal bones. That was a long time ago. Maybe we've got math in our bones!
Math Jokes and Puns that'll make you Laugh
And in between the challenges of traveling across your computer screen, our beloved ST Math penguin also enjoys sharing a joke or two.So if you feel like making someone laugh this Mathematics Awareness Month, JiJi's got a few zingers for you!
1. What did the triangle say to the circle? You're so pointless.
2. What do mathematicians do after a snowstorm? Make snow angles!
3. I got into an argument with a 90° angle. Turns out it was right.
4. What is the math teacher's favorite type of tree? Geometry
5. Parallel lines have so much in common. It's a shame they'll never meet.
How to Celebrate Math Awareness Month
Once you've got all the math jokes out of your system, what better way to celebrate Math Awareness Month than by engaging in math-related activities?
Math doesn't always have to be tied to the classroom or homework. Here are a few activities we thought we'd share to remind everyone just how pervasive math is in our daily lives—and how fun it can be!
1. Family Math Night with MathMINDs
Have a family math night with MathMINDs games and stories! MathMINDs will change how you view math by changing the way you experience it.
Imagine if math took a page from the playbooks for food, sports, music, or literacy. MathMINDs offers diverse opportunities that'll challenge and delight you—no matter how old you are.
Created by MIND Education, MathMINDs offers several interactive, effortful, and absorbing programs that can deepen your understanding and enjoyment of math.
2. Math-themed Scavenger Hunt
Who doesn't love a good scavenger hunt? A math scavenger hunt is a great way to not only enjoy the outdoors, but a chance for you to see how math is all around you.
A math-themed scavenger hunt could help engage students who may be struggling with math concepts in the classroom. Students will see it as a game, but they'll also be learning all sorts of math!
A scavenger hunt can take on a variety of forms and is also an excellent way for students to See the Math, as we like to say here at MIND.
Click here for some printable math scavenger hunts for elementary students!
3. See the Math JiJi Activity
Speaking of Seeing the Math, we have another fun activity for students to help them discover the math all around them.
Over the years, JiJi has helped millions of students learn to love mathematics. This beloved and mighty penguin would like to help you and your students See the Math wherever possible.
Visit the link to learn more about this fun JiJi activity and play it again when JiJi day comes rolling around: See the Math with JiJi.
4. JiJi Sudoku Puzzles
JiJi and Sudoku? There's another winning combination!
With JiJi Sudoku puzzles, you can have your students test their logic and reasoning skills by matching each colored JiJi to the right square.
Download one of the following sudoku puzzles below:
You can use clues from the given colors to fill in the blank squares, and make sure a single color only appears once per row, column, and section 2x3 or 3x3). Find more detailed instructions, facilitation ideas, and the answer key here.
5. Finding Symmetry in Nature
Here's another fun math activity that's also an excuse to be outdoors!
Young explorers can find natural objects on a hike or at a park and explore symmetry in this activity from Chelsey at Buggy and Buddy. It's a wonderful hands-on activity that'll also encourage students to See the Math.
Visit the link here to learn more about this awesome outdoor math activity.
6. Play Math Board Games
There is no shortage of math board games out there, and boy, do we have a list for you!
As you've seen so far, math is not just about numbers and formulas. Board games are one way to experience and See the Math all around us.
Many fun board games integrate deeper mathematical thinking into the gameplay. These games help students develop skills such as multi-step problem-solving, spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, resource management, and so much more.
Visit the link here for a compilation of board games that will really engage students in math!
7. Play ST Math Games!
If your school has ST Math, a powerful, interactive visual math program, we definitely want you to get in on the action!
Playing ST Math games is an excellent way to not only celebrate Math Awareness Month, but to increase intrinsic motivation in students and celebrate your school's love of problem solving.
If you decide you want to get in on the Mathematics Awareness Month fun, tell us all about it! Whether it’s partaking in one of the math activities we recommended here, or if you’ve heard some other interesting math facts or jokes, please share with us on social media!
How are YOU celebrating Mathematics Awareness Month?
About the Author
Victor Nguyen is MIND’s Content and Community Specialist. Victor is a passionate storyteller with a penchant for creative writing. In his free time, you can find him engrossed in books, going on long hikes, or trying to meditate.