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25 Facts About Math for International Day of Math

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March 14th is International Day of Mathematics! This year, UNESCO’s theme is “Mathematics is Everywhere.” 

There are plenty of ways to make math fun, like stumping your students with brain teasers or cracking a funny math joke. But today, we’re celebrating the beauty of math in everyday life!

Here at Prodigy, we’re working to help every child in the world love learning. And what better way to love learning than to realize math is all around us?

In celebration of International Day of Mathematics, we’ve put together a list of facts about math you can use to show your students math is everywhere: in nature, in the classroom and everywhere else we look.

Plus, we’ve included some suggestions for celebrating math in your classroom!

Fun math facts: Math is everywhere!

1. Mount Everest weighs an estimated 357 trillion pounds

2. In a classroom of 23 people, there’s a 50% chance two of them have the same birthday. In a room of 75 people, the probability increases to 99%. It’s called the Birthday Problem, and here’s the solution!

3. A baseball diamond is a perfect rhombus. A rhombus is a parallelogram with opposite equal acute angles, opposite equal obtuse angles and four equal sides.

4. If you’re planning a road trip, Texas is the place to be! Texas is the state with the most roads in the United States, with 679,917 total miles of lanes to get lost on. 

5. Forests cover 31% of the world’s land surface. 

6. In the United States, 58 million pounds of chocolate are bought in the week before Valentine’s Day.

7. Squirrels can run at about 20 miles per hour.

8. Usain Bolt, one of the fastest runners alive, can sprint around 28 miles per hour

9. A cheetah can run up to 76 miles per hour, and can go from 0 to 68 miles per hour in less than three seconds. 

10. The best pro baseball pitchers throw at around 100 miles per hour.

11. The spiral shapes of sunflowers, snails and shells follow the Fibonacci sequence, where the two previous numbers are added together to get the next. (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…)

12. Fancy a game of Go Fish? If you shuffle a pack of cards properly, there’s a good chance the exact order of the cards you have in your hands has never been seen in the history of the universe

13. If you’re taking a vacation to Hawaii, watch out for volcanoes! The temperature of lava in the tubes of a Hawaiian volcano is around 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

14. When Canada geese migrate south for the winter and north for the summer, they fly 2,000 to 3,000 thousand miles. If the weather is good, they can travel up to 1,500 miles in one day!

15. There are approximately 153,237 convenience stores in the United States. How convenient!

16. 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water. However, only 3% of the earth’s water is freshwater and two-thirds of freshwater is frozen in ice sheets and glaciers. The other third is found in lakes, rivers and underground. 

17. People tend to have about 100,000 hairs on their head, and you can lose around 50 to 100 hairs every day.

18. On March 14th, light from the sun takes approximately 495 seconds, or 8 minutes and 15 seconds, to reach us on earth.  

19. Back in a jiffy? You’d better be fast! A “jiffy” is an actual length of time, equal to about 1/100th of a second

20. The radius of the moon is approximately 1,079.6 miles. (Try using π to find the circumference — March 14th is also Pi Day!)

21. “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen has been streamed over 363,100,000 times on Spotify. Challenge your students to write that out on a place value chart to practice writing large numbers!

22. A year isn’t exactly 365 days -- it’s 365.2564 days! That’s why we have a leap year every four years.

23. An average bathtub holds 80 gallons of water, while an Olympic-sized swimming pool has 660,253 gallons of water. Can your students figure out how many bathtubs of water it would take to fill a swimming pool? (Hint: The answer is 8,253.16.)

24. Who doesn’t love LEGO blocks? The LEGO factory produces around 36,000 pieces of lego every minute

25. Baking is mathematical -- and delicious! To make the perfect sugar cookie, follow a simple ratio of 3:2:1, or 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat to 1 part sugar.

Use these math facts to introduce new concepts like place value and fractions, or delight your students with cool math facts and ask them to find their own!

How to celebrate International Day of Math 2020 in your classroom

There’s nothing better than getting your students excited about learning! Celebrate math every day with these five fun classroom activities.

1. Prodigy Math

What better way to get students excited about math than with Prodigy?

Prodigy turns math class into an epic adventure filled with amazing quests, epic pets and cool rewards. As students explore the world of Prodigy, they’ll answer adaptive math questions designed to build foundational skills, challenge their knowledge and help them grow. 

Plus, as a teacher, you can sign up for a free teacher account and start differentiating your students’ math learning in just a few minutes!

2. Solve space challenges

Image Credit: NASA/JPL Caltech I

Celebrate Pi Day and International Day of Math with math challenges that are out of this world. 

NASA created this set of problems for Grades 4 to 12 that challenges students to use Pi and solve challenges related to space exploration.
Not only will your students have a blast, they’ll see real-world applications of math and engineering. Each problem comes with a handout and an answer key and is aligned with a Common Core math standard.

3. Play math games

Who said playing games wasn’t educational?

Math games give students a chance to get creative and burn a little energy, while reinforcing new (or old!) math concepts in a fun, engaging way.

Some popular math games include:

  • Math baseball: Divide students into two teams. The “at-bat” team answers questions to move around the bases, while the outfielders steal questions and earn outs.
  • Math facts bingo: Create bingo cards and fill the squares with answers to math questions. Instead of calling numbers, call out equations and wait for them to find the answer!
  • 101 and out: Divide the class in half and have each side take turns rolling the die. Groups have to strategize and get to 101 points by multiplying and adding the rolls, without going over.

For more math games, read 20 Engaging, Skill-Building Math Games for Kids.

4. Read math books

Read books that teach math concepts in a fun, engaging way to bring literacy and math together! 

Some of our favourites include:

  • Bean Thirteen by Matthew McElligott: Two bugs have collected 13 beans! Follow along with their hilarious adventure to get rid of the dreaded thirteenth bean and teach your students all about remainders.
  • The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang: This book of illustrated math riddles helps students develop reading comprehension skills while also keeping their math mind sharp.
  • This is Not a Maths Book by Anna Weltman: Get students creating with this math book in disguise! Students learn about geometry topics while also drawing fun shapes using protractors, compasses and other tools. 

Check out 15 Fun, Creative Math Books for Students in 1st to 8th Grade for even more math books!

5. Solve math puzzles

Try twisty brain teasers to get your students engaged and excited about math! 

They’re not just fun -- math puzzles help students build essential learning skills by:

  • Encouraging critical thinking and logic skills, which are essential for success in every field of study
  • Helping students practice essential addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to build math fluency skills
  • Connecting existing curriculum standards that emphasize problem solving, critical thinking and abstract reasoning

To get your students puzzling, read 20 Math Puzzles to Engage Your Students.

Happy International Day of Math!

We hope you and your students enjoy celebrating the wonder of mathematics. If you’d like to know more about how math impacts our daily lives and the planet we live on, check out the International Day of Mathematics mini-site.

Do you have a favorite math fact we didn’t include? Share it in the comments!

Prodigy is a math learning platform that can help students get excited about learning math! Join more than a million teachers that use Prodigy for student engagement, adaptive learning and differentiation.