The Mathematical Benefits of Exercise

Aaron Kollar, Middle School Math, Piedmont Open IB Middle School

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)

Synopsis:  At the completion of this unit, students will use authentic class data to learn how to calculate the mean and median of a set of data, as well as display that data as a histogram, dot plot and box plot.  Perhaps more importantly, the students will learn about the benefits of regular exercise, and how it may relate to their own success in school.  In this unit, students will take part in an experiment to see if regular exercise before studying for a timed multiplication and division test has any benefit on their test scores.  Some classes will serve as the control, and therefore will not exercise before studying and taking their tests.  Other classes will be the experimental group, and they will exercise before studying and taking their tests.  After four weeks of testing and data collection, students will analyze the data to see if the exercise group had better gains on their tests that the control group.  Hopefully, exercise group will show better growth on their test scores, which will convince some students that exercise can help you brain work better, while at the same time learning about proper research study design, and the statistical topics mentioned above.