Algebra classes give students taste of real life with project

Algebra II teachers have given their students a project that may finally answer the eternal question that every student has wondered while learning about parabolas and piecewise functions, “when are we going to use this in real life?”

The project, deemed “Reality 101,” requires students to organize a budget while paying off student loans and credit card debt. It’s designed to show students what life after college will look like, when they have to pay back their loans and are working on a starting salary.

Teachers say they think the project is the most important part of the curriculum.

“I think it’s one of the best things we do here because it gives kids a look at applied mathematics,” Algebra II teacher Ted Willmann said. “It shows how you have to create an effective plan to pay off debt and also understand how it stacks up on you, and you can only do that by learning to use and manipulate formulas. Furthermore, it teaches students how to live inside their means, which is so important as an adult.”

Students have been working on the project, which is due on April 7, for a week now, and so far most say they have enjoyed it.
“This project will really help us out in the real world by teaching us the skills necessary to help us progress into the next phase of our lives,” junior Michael Severt said.