“Do the Math” Helps Students Find Answers AND Understand Mathematical Concepts
by Thygerson Vaun
Contributing writer and mother of three
Aug 29, 2022
Most students can find answers to math equations with simple problem-solving apps like PhotoMath or MathAway, but are they really learning the concepts and understanding the mathematical process? Just getting the answer only helps them with that one question, but with the “Do the Math” program they learn how to approach math problems with a variety of strategies that will help them build on that knowledge to solve more complex problems.

“Do the Math” ramps up for its 21st season to begin airing this month. The show is unique in that the tutors take time to ensure a student fully understands a math concept instead of the student getting a quick answer from an app.

“It’s exciting to witness the moment a student understands how to solve a problem instead of just getting an answer and moving on,” says Mike Cushine, the show’s host.

The 21st season of “Do the Math” will begin on Tuesday, September 13. The live TV shows from 4:30 pm to 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday.  Special segments, guests, and contests supplement the math instruction

Twelve-year-old Gavin Frank, a great student at Downtown Elementary, has been on the show multiple times after producers heard how much he liked to watch the show. "Do the Math makes math fun! I enjoyed going on the show and learning new ways to address my math work. Having help makes mathematics less challenging and more exciting," Gavin says.

Cushine says this year they are going to be teaming up with business and community partners to help students understand the importance of mathematics in all STEM areas. The Bakersfield Museum of Art (BMOA) is one such partner who will spotlight recurring guests each month to show different art techniques and how they incorporate math.

“We love appearing on ‘Do the Math’ because we feel it's important to help children understand that math and art aren't mutually exclusive,” says Amy Smith, Executive Director of BMOA. “In fact, math and art are intimately connected. Deciding how to arrange a canvas, mixing colors in the right ratios to achieve the perfect color, measuring a grid to accurately scale an image--that all comes down to math. ‘Do the Math’ is a natural extension of BMoA's children's art education program: an opportunity to share with kids the beauty of art, and the math behind it.”

Other featured guests will be from the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra to illustrate how math and music go hand-in-hand. “The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra is very excited to introduce students to the connection of math and music through the ‘Do the Math’ program,” says Holly Arnold, Executive Director, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra.

“Various Symphony musicians will participate in a six-part series, each time introducing a different instrument and providing a unique lesson connecting music and math along with the musicians’ perspective on how math has influenced them in their musical career.  It’s often a surprise for students to learn that playing an instrument relies on understanding concepts such as fractions and ratios and that the biggest similarity between math and music is patterns. As part of our ‘Growing our Own’ initiative, the Bakersfield Symphony is committed to inspiring local students through musical education and experience,” she says.

“Do the Math” is part of 60-plus hours of weekly K-12 educational programming aligned to state standards that is available through KCSOS’s Kern Education Television Network (KETN). Free phone-in tutoring is available to students from 3:30 to 5:30 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by calling (661) 636-4357 or toll-free at (866) 636-6284.  “Do the Math” can be seen in Bakersfield on Spectrum Cable Channel 15, in California City, Boron, and Mojave on Channel 19, and in Rosamond on Channel 180.

For more information, visit www.dothemathonline.net.  You can also follow “Do the Math” on social media:  Facebook: @dothemathbakersfield and Twitter: @dothemathbako

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