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Is High School Math Necessary?

In a world where all the information we seek on the internet can be accessed in a matter of seconds, is high school math really necessary? While many believe it to be crucial for life after high school, why should we bother learning long division when calculator apps are only a finger touch away. What about higher-level math such as trigonometry, calculus, or even abstract algebra? Are these classes necessary to graduate or will they just take up space in our brains?

Fractions are used in just about every aspect of life. If you go to the store, chances are there is a price per pound or ounce on your favorite goodies. If you want to buy two pounds or two ounces, you realize it’s twice the money!

Math also deals a lot with money! If I have five dollars and something I want costs seven dollars, then I need to double the five into ten in order to get enough money to buy it and, know what my change should be.  A server once worked a dinner shift where they would have easily made over $100. However, because they did not understand how to give correct change, they ended up owing the restaurant $50 at the end of their shift. That means they lost $150!

Can you imagine designing a room without knowing how high or wide it is? You would have to make the walls significantly thicker than they should be, resulting in wasted materials and money. Math doesn’t just play a role in measuring rooms for construction purposes; many designers use math to figure out measurements that can be transferred into their design software. For example, designers use math to figure out measurements such as angles and lengths that allow them to design a room with the proper proportions.

Fractions are also used in cooking recipes. If you go to a five-star restaurant, the chefs measure their ingredients down to the smallest unit.  Every ingredient added is measured out so that it all adds up to what the recipe says.

Basically, if we didn’t get the concept of fractions in school, we would not be able to effectively cook, earn/spend money or design a home’s interior. Without fractions, life would definitely be a little more unpredictable!  

Is high school math useful in everyday life?

Like most of nature, everything seems to follow patterns. These patterns are modeled by shapes such as triangles, circles, and ellipses, and abstract art. Professions that use trigonometry:

  • Architecture/Construction: The Pythagorean Theorem aids in the construction of stable buildings, bridges, etc.
  • Cartoonists (to proportion their heroes and villains)
  • Clean Energy Engineers
  • Crime Scene Investigators
  • Digital imaging
  • Firefighters
  • Music theory
  • Oil drilling
  • Pilots
  • Physicians
  • Park Rangers
  • Timber industry

Professions that use calculus:

  1. Astronaut
  2. Aerospace engineer
  3. Mathematician
  4. Animator
  5. Chemical engineer
  6. Environmental engineer
  7. Mathematician
  8. Electrical engineer
  9. Operations research engineer
  10. Aerospace engineer
  11. Software developer

So, to answer to the question of is high school math necessary? Yes! We see that almost everything we do, look at, live in, and fly with, has some basis in the fundamentals of the many variations of math. Take those classes, pay attention and watch how math shapes your life…

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