Review of Math Apprentice

Math Apprentice is a new free website, meant to show students how math is used in real world. In the game, you are like an apprentice at various companies, applying your math skills to challenges similar to those encountered in the real world and real companies.

Main Street - Click to enlarge

To begin, you click the button on the home page of the site that says "Explore the Math". Then choose your character, and you'll be on the main street (see screenshot above) . Then use arrow keys to move right or left, and click to select a company to visit.

The companies you can visit are:
  • Sweet Treat Cafe - baking pies

Sweet Treat Cafe - Click to enlarge

  • Wheelworks - constructing bicycles and exploring gear ratios
  • Game Pro! - keep track of the distance between superhero and the villain in a computer game, using Pythagorean Theorem
  • Spacelogic - study speed of a spacecraft & slope, and then angle & distance commands to get the space rover where it needs go.
  • Trigon Studios - Explore the usage of sine and cosine functions to create rhytmic or repeating motion of animated objects.
  • Doodles - explore polar curves created with sine and cosine. These can be like stars, flowers, or spirals.

Doodles - Click to enlarge

  • Builders, Inc. - calculate areas and perimeters of shapes

Builders, Inc. Click to enlarge

  • Adventure Rides - study the angle of elevation and height of a roller coaster

While the site is targeted to grades 4-7, many of the mathematical ideas are actually far more advanced than that. In the simulations involving sine and cosine, for example, all you have to do is change the values in the equations using sliders and observe. Also, in some activities there are instructions given how to calculate things.

It says the about page: "Some of the mathematics in Math Apprentice may seem advanced for its targeted age group, grades 4-7. That's ok. It's important for students to interact with math concepts beyond the standards. This is where the joy of math can often be found."

Nevertheless, I feel some activities are definitely best reserved for students who have studied the concept (such as Pythagorean Theorem in Game Pro! company).

In general, I think Math Apprentice has well-made and interesting activities, and kids are sure to enjoy it!

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