November Theme:  Math in Energy

12 Months of Math

math in energyEnergy is a really big deal. All living things need energy to stay alive, such as the energy plants get from the sun. We need it for every aspect of human civilization. How we get and use the energy we need everyday is also a big deal. Our main energy resources are fossil fuels, nuclear power, and renewable energy – solar, wind, and hydroelectric power.

Although there are many different types and ways of thinking about energy, this month’s theme focuses on how math fits into a number of different energy industries in the Career Connections sections. In addition, there are great community events to attend to learn even more about math and energy.

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Thank you to this month’s sponsor:

New Mexico Oil & Gas Association

Parents' Corner

Math Talk

Topic:  Advantages of Adding

Daily addition is an opportunity for family math talk. Often in math, the focus is on the answer, right or wrong. These are great opportunities to extend the conversation to include why? Take interest to ask and tell which strategies were used to get to each answer.

Take a look at a few of the mental math strategies below to better understand some of the strategies used most often. How do you add? Do you use the same strategy all the time? Which one does your child use?

Mental Math Strategies

“Counting on” means that you start with one number, preferably the biggest number in the equation, and then count up. For example, in the equation 5+3, you start with the “5”, and then count up, “6, 7, 8.” This is to discourage students from counting like, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5…..6, 7, 8.” Students also need to be taught that if an equation looks like this: “2+6,” they still should start with the bigger number in this case “6” and count up “7, 8.”

Doubles are all around us; think of fingers and toes – 5+5, wheels on a car – 2+2, or the eggs in a carton – 6+6. When we learn “doubles” math facts well, they be become automatic.

Try thinking of things that come in doubles! What is the total that the double adds up to? How high can you go in a list of doubles starting with 1, then 2, etc: 1+1=2, 2+2=4, 3+3=6….

Doubles plus one, is simply doubles facts adding one for the next number. Example: 5+6, you know that 6 is one more than 5, and if 5+5=10, then 5+6=10+1. Just like all math facts, practice makes it easier.

Yes, memorizing the Make “10” Facts is important to develop math confidence. It’s similar to learning to spell simple words like “the.” The use of this mental math strategy will replace the need in most cases to “Count On.” Make “10” Facts are all the combinations of single digit numbers that when added together, equal 10.

1+9, 2+8, 3+7, 4+6, 5+5, 6+4, 7+3, 8+2, 9+1

To follow Make “10” Facts, it’s important to understand the carry over to making multiples of 10: 20, 30, 40, etc. With this strategy, you extend into 2-digit numbers. Example: 27+3; in this case, look at the ones digits and realize that 7 and 3 make 10, so 27 and 3 makes 30.

A few sites that offer fun ideas for adding:  PBS-Kids, Math is Fun,

Events and Activities

Math in Energy Events

Friday, November 22, 2019, 9am–3pm

12 Months of Math will have hands-on math activities for visitors at the 2019 Discovery Festival, a Big Brothers Big Sisters project. 12 Months of Math, sponsored by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, will have stations set up for visitors to experience Math in “Matter and Energy,” November’s theme.

The Discovery Festival will be held at the Albuquerque Convention Center, and is FREE to the public.

Learn more at

Math in Energy Activities

Friday, November 9, 2018, 9am–3pm

12 Months of Math will have hands-on math activities for visitors at the 2018 Discovery Festival, a Big Brothers Big Sisters project. Sandia National Laboratories and Explora will have stations set up for visitors to experience Math in “Matter and Energy,” November’s theme.

The Discovery Festival will be held at the Albuquerque Convention Center, and is FREE to the public.

Learn more at

New Mexico Electric Car Challenge

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The New Mexico Middle School Electric Car Challenge (formerly the NM Hydrogen Fuels Challenge) consists of a battery-powered model car race, design competition, as well as the option to compete in an oral presentation.

Van Buren Middle School
700 Louisiana Blvd. SE, Albuquerque NM

Learn more:

Career Connections

This month’s theme covers several industries including research, manufacturing, environment, and service. A hot topic for the last several years has been alternative forms of energy.

*DOE – US Department of Energy

Career Spotlight

Kenneth Armijo
Solar Energy Engineer

Sandra Begay
Civil Engineer

Nedra Bonal

Kristina Czuchlewski

Aubrey Eckert-Gallup

Andy Huang

Stacey Long
Creative Designer

Elizabeth Quinley
Air Quality Compliance Engineer 

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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