Math skills are highly underrated by some people. What they fail to recognize is that expertise in mathematics gained in school can translate into improvements in the quality of your life throughout adulthood. This idea baffles many students, who fail to see the benefits that the math they learn in high school will provide later in life.
Let us look at one typical example as an example – the buying process for a new refrigerator. Too the poorly informed it may seem like there is not much use for mathematics in this decision making process, but this could not be further from the truth!
There are many people who actually make their living from refrigerators besides those who design, build and sell them. Just take a look at YouTube and you’ll find a host of individuals making videos about reviews, how to customize and even how to repair them. You’ll see lots of adverts and sales on major TV channels, try this little app which allows you to watch British TV overseas and see how many mentions there are.
To start with, when looking at refrigerator reviews – or even just reading a list of specifications – shoppers will be taking in data like width, height, depth, volume. An educated mind is able to tie these together into an underlying whole and understand the mathematics behind them. When math skills are lacking, these will just be a string of numbers.
With adequate math skills one is able to take these numbers extracted from a refrigerators review and tie them back to the dimensions of your kitchen, or of your proposed installation area, and have a full understanding of any limitation that may prohibit the installation of the model under consideration.
Even once you have analyzed refrigerator reviews and decided which model to purchase; mathematics still has a further role to play. Will you pay cash, or will you finance your purchase? If a retailer is offering a great deal on financing so as to move more products, it may make sense to take advantage of low interesting financing.
However, these types of calculations are not simple. To make the right decision the consumers’ needs to have knowledge and awareness of items like discount rates, opportunity costs, percentages, interest rates, finance charges and the like.
While concepts like these are not difficult, a proper understanding does require a solid mathematical background. Decisions on financing are very important as they can potentially cost a buyer hundreds of dollars if poorly made.
Hopefully this example of the use of mathematics in reviewing refrigerators for purchase – and exploring financing options – will demonstrate to teens the need to focus their attention on their math studies while at school.