Math is everywhere. It is a vital component of the buildings we live in, the spaceships we launch and the technologies we develop. It is also sometimes cited as a reason young people opt out of STEM. We’ve all heard a smart, capable person explain that they just “aren’t good at math.” Often, these are people who excel easily in other subjects, and are surprised to find that learning math requires more effort than learning English. Don’t forget that English is practiced every single day of our lives. Math, especially advanced concepts like calculus, are not practiced nearly as often.
Just like learning English is necessary before writing a fantasy novel, learning math is necessary before creating value in many STEM fields. It took years of full-time study to master English, so there is no reason to expect mastery of math to be instantaneous. It’s okay to start slow.
Not loving math doesn’t need to be your science and technology deal breaker. For many people, math is a tool, not a passion. Your math classes are only the tip of the mathematical ice burg, it is while working in the field and through repetition that you will truly master the specific math skills you need. In the meantime, advanced math classes introduce you to the toolkit.
For those of us who struggle with the rules of the tools, there are a myriad of inventive learning techniques and tricks. Calculus music videos is one of them. Though the singing voices involved could be improved upon, the ingenuity and hilarity of calculus parody videos more than makes up for any vocal shortcomings. Here are five videos to start you singing:
Erin Wildermuth is a communications professional turned scientist. She enjoys scuba diving, problem solving, and reading science fiction.