Cooking and math go together in an important way in our daily lives. Why is it that many students will groan when it is time to do their math homework? When you ask a student what their favorite subject is, most of the time you won’t hear “math”. Do they not understand how they use math every day?
Let’s take a normal activity that many people use during their day and see where math was involved. I think a good activity to look at would be cooking. I don’t care if you’re a five-star chef, or you can barely cook macaroni and cheese, you’re going to use math. For our example, let’s use mac and cheese. Now I’m getting hungry.
Before you even think about opening a box of mac and cheese, you’re already doing math. Most likely quantity related. How many people are going to eat this? How much can you eat? Now you may look at the box to see how many servings are in it. When you are trying to judge servings, amounts, and the amount of people eating, you are using volume formula’s and division. I know! Crazy!
As you move into the directions, you’ll probably see some cooking directions, now you’re getting into temperature calculations and time. That’s more math!
In addition to normal cooking instructions, it might even have some high altitude instructions. Careful, this is for advanced mac and cheese mathematics only. You adjust temperature based on your elevation because of the air pressure difference. The mac and cheese company already did the difficult math for you to tell you what temperature you need to adjust for.
Now let’s review. You have to understand the basic math principles of time, volume, division and temperature to be able to make mac and cheese. What other mathematical problems could arise when cooking a simple meal?
I can’t believe you thought you could get by eating lunch without math. Face it, it’s everywhere.
For more information and online calculators on time, volume, division and temperature, try some of these links: