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MS Students Explore March on Washington From Mathematical Perspective
Jessica Merrick, MS Math Coordinator

Last week, the 6th-grade math classes explored the March on Washington for Freedom and Jobs in 1963 (the famed "I have a dream" speech) from a mathematical perspective. Using two aerial shots of the march, each with a boxed-in area representing 180 people, students worked in groups to estimate how many people attended the demonstration. Blake B. and Alex T. exclaimed, "let's map out how many equal rows and columns we can make throughout the picture to estimate the population." The two shots represented 3/10 of the total crowd, and thus, the 6th-graders used a ratio table to extrapolate about how many people were in attendance. Further, teachers showed a short video from TIME productions that summarized the day and highlighted the nonviolence that characterized the protest. This passionate, yet peaceful protest, ignited the national agenda that resulted in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which were monumental in the fight for equality and equity in America. Next, students compared the difference in costs of living from 1963 to 2020. The march's primary purpose was to rally for a $2/hr minimum wage, while today, some lawmakers are fighting for a $15/hr minimum wage. The lesson culminated with Mr. Bookin asking the students: "What other questions do you have about inequities that still exist in America today?" This left open the possibility for the classes to explore any events in history through a mathematical lens. 

  • Middle School

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