May Theme:  Math in Health

12 Months of Math

math in healthFiguring out how much cold medicine to take, keeping track of how many steps you take every day, and even using a scale to see how much you weigh are all ways in which we use math in our everyday lives. Although it may be easy to see and understand how doctors, nurses and other health professionals use math concepts in their work, it is important to realize we all use math to maintain our health and well being, too.

Check out this month’s Parent’s Corner section featuring estimation, a key math concept that you are probably doing all day long without even realizing it. Many different healthcare professions are featured in the Career Connections section where you can follow links to learn more about each. As always, there are cool videos, fun games and activities, and local events to check out!

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Parents' Corner

Math Talk

Topic:  Estimating is “An About”

Little did you know, you estimate all day long!

  • When will dinner be ready?
  • How long will it take to get to work or school?
  • How far is it to the movies?
  • How much will the groceries cost?
  • How many people will be at the party?

An estimation is an educated guess based on your knowledge and experience. Estimates can help you with spending, time management, planning, or to soothe an impatient child. (Are we there yet?)  Take a look at these every day chances to practice estimation with your child.

Try it! Estimations

Being able to estimate money is important when spending money to make sure you’ll have enough to pay for an item or you have been charged correctly.

Example:  You need to buy 22 cupcakes for the class party. The store sell cupcakes in packages of 6. Each package is $3.49. This example has lots of math, but is a common situation. Can you estimate how much you’ll need to buy your cupcakes?

Time is another measurement we estimate all day/week/year long.

  • How long does it take to cook dinner? Depending on the meal, your estimate will help decide when to start.
  • How long does it take you to get ready for school or work in the morning? Your estimate will determine when you need to wake up.
  • How long will it take to drive to Denver for the weekend? This estimate will include, speed, weather/traffic conditions and how many time you need a pit stop.

Ask your kids to help you estimate time. “How long do you think it will take us to get to school?” When you arrive talk about how the estimate rates up against the actual time. This is how we get better at estimating.

Being able to look at a group of items and estimate how many, is a common skill.

  • How many people do you think are at the party?
  • How many candies do you have?
  • How many burgers do we need to make?

This estimation skill is all about the about.

How long is a foot? Well whose foot? Usually a foot means 12 inches. Do you estimate in feet and inches? How about longer lengths. “It’s a couple football fields away.”

How much does it weigh? Few people can tell you what one pound feels like. But what if you say “It weighs as much as a book.” This is in fact an estimate of weight. How do you explain how much things weigh?

Math in Health Activities

Events and Activities

Math in Health Events

Sunday, May 19, 2019


How long does it take to walk a mile? How fast does your heart beat? What do all those numbers on the back of food packaging mean? Join 12 Months of Math to learn how you can use math skills to improve your health!

Activities include measuring your stride to calculate walking distances and times, measuring heart rates, and making sense of nutritional facts.

Math in Health Activities

Math in Health Events

cafe scientifiqueCafé Scientifique

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 6-7:30pm

Speaker: Bill Shuttleworth

Title:  Big Numbers in the Brain

Time: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Location: UNM Health Sciences Center, North Campus, Domenici Center NW Building, Room #2720

Building #200 on the UNM North Campus Map (Parking will be free at Observatory M lot, at the corner of Yale and Camino de Salud.)

See the full flyer

KOB 4 Health & Wellness Fair

  • Saturday, January 27, 2018, 10am-4pm
  • Sunday, January 28, 2018, Noon-4pm
Indoor Horse Arena:  Manuel Lujan Jr. Exhibit Complex

Join 12 Months of Math and our January sponsors from University of New Mexico Health Sciences Departments as well as TriCore Laboratories at the 2018 Health & Wellness Fair in New Mexico. More than 7,100 health-conscience New Mexicans attended the event in 2017, and the plan is to make the 2018 event even bigger!

The focus on wellness acknowledges the public’s interest in staying healthy and fit, and gives your business a chance to be a part of the state’s largest Health & Wellness Fair.

Go to the KOB event page.

Career Connections
Career Spotlight

 Learn how these professionals use math in their careers:

paulina deming

Linda Felton, PhD
University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy

Linda Felton, PhD
University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy

Donald Godwin, PhD
University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy

alexandra sible

Alexandra Sible, PharmD
University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy

Thanks to our Title Sponsors:

Color Explora Logo iHeart Media intel NSF logo

12 Months of Math, a project of STEM-NM, is a city-wide initiative designed to explore and celebrate math’s importance to our community and in our lives. 12 Months of Math will provide community-based, culturally-relevant, multilingual family math programs for the public. Each month of math will focus on a selected theme and will provide math activities in a real-world context, supported by local business and organizations whose work relates to the month’s theme. 12 Months of Math brings together the varied expertise of partner organizations and coordinates efforts to bring about significant improvement in children’s math outcomes.

STEM-NM is New Mexico’s nationally-designated STEM Learning Ecosystem, working to increase the prosperity of our community by engaging students and preparing them for jobs in our local science, technology, and health care sectors.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1744541. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

12 Months of Math is looking for math events and opportunities to engage New Mexico families. If you would like to share math information with us please fill in this contact form.

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