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  • PHS Digital Journalism Project

PHS Digital Journalism Project: Students are struggling to find interest in Mathematics

Article by Bryce Fullet at Portland High School

Math is a topic many students struggle in, it is also a topic many students can’t find an interest in. At Portland High School, there is a class that can help students solve these problems.

Data shown from the College of Literature Science & the Arts shows that the average GPA in all math classes across Michigan high schools is 2.9277, which is well below the ideal GPA to get into a college, which is generally 3.7. Studies from CUNY graduate center show that when students find a class to be too difficult, they will lose interest in that subject all together. With this data in mind, students should be able to study math in Mr. Novara's class with no issues. In 2021, IEJME (International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education) did a study on where students were asked to give their opinion on a variety of math related topics. The table below shows what students thought about math in their schools. 9% of students found math to be too boring, while another 7% thought it was too confusing.

(Table from IEJME)

Math in sports, taught by John Novara, is a class that students have found to be enjoyable, while keeping their minds tuned in on a variety of math topics; “a lot of geometry concepts, surface area we cover, volume of objects, there’s some algebra concepts that we do… polynomials, systems of equations, and then some basic math stuff like percents, ratios and proportions, and then basic addition and subtraction, multiplication and division.” Mr. Novara says that the class is very basic to the subjects, and that students were always excited to be in his classroom for quarter 1 and quarter 2.

Students at PHS really seem to have an interest this class, with Mr. Novara even saying that seniors don’t have any classes on campus will have their classes rescheduled so they can be in the class. Grace Terwilliger, a student at PHS, is someone who really likes to be in this class. “I really liked calculating on how to score bowling.” She also said she had fun doing the classes fantasy football league, where the points would be calculated manually. To add on to this, she recommended this class to students who struggle with math, and to treat it like a study hall to prepare for more difficult math classes, such as pre-calc, or algebra 2.

Math is a subject that students everywhere struggle with, and this class can help with that. Students at PHS can study math in math in sports, and they can have fun in math in sports.

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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