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  • PHS Digital Journalism Project

PHS Digital Journalism Project: Marvel Math - The Elective of the Future

By Emery Pinkston

It is a well-documented fact that many kids struggle with math and the recent pandemic has not helped, according to The George Lucas Educational Foundation states that high school students should be engaged and encouraged at all times. What better way to accomplish that than with their favorite superhero? Well, that's why Marvel Math was designed!

Marvel math is an elective offered at Portland Public High School that combines the action-packed adventures of the student's favorite hero with the skills and strategies needed to master math. The course has gained incredible amounts of popularity among students who love the Marvel Movie franchise and want to improve their math skills.

The idea of Marvel Math is to make learning math fun and engaging using characters and stories that today's children love. The course is designed to help students develop the necessary math skills, critical thinking, and analytical abilities by including superheroes and their adventures in math problems. Eric Simon, an instructor who teaches this course, said “I would recommend every high school offer this course for their students. Too often students (and adults) see math as a set of complicated rules that need to be followed in order to solve a problem. In This class, students see that that logic isn't true.” Solving a problem can be done with multiple approaches and multiple reasonings. Students are given math problems related to the superheroes' abilities and powers, such as calculating the velocity of Spiderman's swing or the force of Hulk's smash. This approach not only makes math enriching and engaging but also helps students incorporate math into the Marvel world, which they know and love.

The elective is offered for grades 9-12 at PHS, and it covers a wide range of topics, from basic math to AP algebra and calculus. The material is taught through Marvel-themed textbooks, worksheets, and quizzes that are designed to keep students interested and excited.

One of the many advantages of Marvel Math is that it helps students develop an appreciation and good attitude toward math. By presenting math in a fun and exciting way, students are much more likely to enjoy the subject and feel confident in their skills. This approach can help students overcome their disdain for math and improve their performance in the subject.

The success of Marvel Math can be seen in the number of students who have benefited from the course. “The class helped me understand math better and improve my grade by incorporating real-life situations into a math problem that involves cool superheroes,” Said high school and Marvel math student Brianna Pinkston. Many students have reported significant improvements in their understanding of math and grades after taking the elective.

Marvel Math is an innovative approach to learning math that combines the excitement of superheroes with the fundamental principles of mathematics. It also has social benefits, such as teamwork and learning from one another. So marvel math may be a course that inspires many, and sparks a love for math they never knew was there, and PHS is proud to offer it.

This article is part of a series written by PHS Digital Journalism students taught by Ms. Chandra Polasek. The articles were written for posting on The Portland Beacon. All articles are original work of the students.


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