Denison students apply math skills outside of classroom

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

DENISON, TX - A Texoma math teacher decides to take learning outside the classroom by taking her students on a field trip, showing them how basic math skills can be applied in real life.

Denison High School math teacher, Tiffany Cordell, took part in the "Business Education for Teachers" program last summer with Champion Cooler. Thursday, she decided to partner up with the company by taking her students out on a field trip, showing them how they can take what they learned in the classroom out in the real world.
Denison High School junior, Ryan Shumaker is one of 80 students brought to Champion Cooler by math teacher, Tiffany Cordell, Thursday afternoon.

"I thought it was pretty cool. It's fun to get out of school and see something and see it applied in real life," he said.

Cordell hoped the field trip will show students that math isn't just used in the classroom.

"It makes the math we do relative. It's hard to say 'learn this math,' when they say "I'm never gonna use it again after this semester or this year.' So making it more relative to let them know that people here in Denison are using this math everyday that I'm trying to teach them," she said.

"Everything we do in manufacturing, does revert back to our basic math skills. We have to plan and schedule, we have to use averages, when we purchase, we have percentages and we have dollar amounts," said Champion Cooler vice president, Brian Aspell.

He said a lot of things the kids learn in class can be applied to manufacturing.

"We do a lot of physics in what we do. In stamping and in assembly and machine operation deals a lot in physics and science, so the math skills that we learn in high school are applied here in Champion Cooler everyday," he said.

Cordell said the field trip is also an opportunity for students to explore other careers.

"If you ask a lot of students right now what they want to be, they want to be a doctor, lawyer or things that are in their lives that they see everyday. Well they've never seen these kinds of careers before so I'm hoping they get new possibilities of different ways they can take their lives," she said.

Learning more about manufacturing sparked Shumaker's interest, but he said he had other plans.

"I'm more of a Biology kinda guy, so I'm not really into the hands-on kind of stuff. But I see now that if I wanted to go to the research field or something like that there's a lot more ways to go than going to college."

Cordell is one of ten Denison ISD teachers who took part in the "Business Education for Teachers" program this year and she's planning to take part in it again next year, so she'll be able to show her upcoming math students what else is in store for them outside of school.

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