Printable Math Labs

We feature some great math projects that students and teachers can really have some fun with. They also relate to physics.

1. Battle of the Spheres- Investigate the impact of inertia on velocity with marbles.
2. Graphing Rainforest Data
3. Light My Stadium Math Lab- A really fun lab where students must use a variety of math skills to plan the lighting of a stadium.
4. Light My Stadium Math Lab: Rubric - Have students grade themselves with this nice additional assessment piece.
5. Light My Stadium Math Lab: Spec Sheet - Materials that students will work with.
6. Now that's using your head!- A fun basic graphing lab, that examines if your head size is related to how high you can jump.
7. One, Two, Three Isaac Newton and Me!- Investigate Newton's Laws with matchbox cars.

Related Teacher Resources

Here is a wide range of graph paper for printing.

What are Math Labs?

Many students find math to be a difficult subject. They likely cannot grasp concepts quickly like some other students. As a result, they do not find pleasure in learning math.

There is also a general idea that the study of math lacks creativity, and consequently, many students may put the bare minimum effort into learning. They might invest the lowest amount of effort required to pass the subject, given math is a compulsory subject.

Teachers seldom try different teaching approaches for their students, which is disappointing, to say the least. However, math labs have turned out to be a great initiative to make math more interesting for students, especially younger students.

A math lab is an additional but more informal take on teaching math to students. This allows students to study math in a more unconventional format, where they can explore patterns and different mathematical ideas. In a math lab, there is the opportunity to enhance students' learning experience while making it interesting for them. Learning math through math labs helps students become more comfortable with mathematical concepts.

In a math lab, there are no boundaries for learning. Anyone who participates in a math lab will generate problems and struggle to get correct answers, and that is completely alright. Checking a student's understanding and mathematical intellect is not the purpose of a math lab.

Students in math labs explore the world of math through various activities and games. These games challenge students to think strategically and be more curious. In many ways, math labs are completely different from science labs. Nevertheless, they are a riveting learning experience for students. Students have the opportunity to fully grasp mathematical concepts in less intimidating ways and environments.

Two examples of this could include:

Napier's Bones

The name of this game surely is funny but it's named after its inventor John Napier. This is a simple calculation device. Students can use this simple activity to multiply large numbers with only a single-digit number.

How To Create Napier's Bones?

1 inch wide by 9-inch-long strips of chart paper or cardboard should be used. You can copy the blueprint of Napier’s Bones from the internet. The two concepts that should be communicated to the students the order in which the numbers are placed in each row and column, and how the product of two numbers can be quickly identified.

Using a Pegboard

This fun and simple activity will help students polish their concept of perimeter, which many students struggle to understand. Besides that, Pegboard will also help students comprehend the concept of area.

How To Create A Pegboard?

Create a square grid on the square board by drilling holes at 1-inch intervals. To comfortably accommodate pegs with a diameter of around 2 mm, the holes must be just big enough. The board may also be used on the OHP if it is constructed out of the transparent acrylic sheet. An additional benefit of using an acrylic sheet is that it may be placed on the edge of graph paper, which is useful for estimating areas.

For pegs on the board, split the matchsticks in half and scrape out the phosphorus. As an alternative, use short nails with tiny heads. You’ll need twelve in total.

Use four pegs and a 20-inch length of string that has been tied into a loop. Request that the kids draw rectangles of various sizes. Which rectangle is larger in terms of area?

When students engage in these activities that present them with a challenge, students are likely to create new problems. These activities are intellectually stimulating, and students will learn to visualize, manipulate and reason with these mathematical problems. This is a crucial step towards understanding math, which students don't get to explore in their classrooms.

The math lab provides students with the space to explore their own assumptions to mathematical challenges and the opportunity to prove these assumptions correct. As a result, it encourages students to think openly and engage in logical reasoning.

How Do These Activities Help Students Learn Better?

Math labs are effective because of their learning dynamics. Students get the space to learn and apply mathematical concepts through the material that is provided. It is expected by teachers that students discover the games, activities, and material on their own.

Students do not feel compelled to attend math labs.The pressure to learn, or be good at subject for a certain grade, is decreased significantly, as they can come and go whenever they feel like it. Teachers are also not there to teach students but rather guide them where they feel stuck.

This helps students engage in individual participation, which helps them build confidence in themselves and learn to take the initiative. In a classroom, some students may hesitate to ask questions or generally participate, which may stop them from learning.

Another benefit of math labs is that it helps students to explore the world of mathematics outside of the classroom; it allows students to discover the undiscovered creative dynamic of math. When students start to see math as more than just a tough subject, they are able to organically develop an interest in it.

When students engage with the concept of math through real-life and tangible objects, they learn to understand the basic mathematical concepts fully. Students can use models or paper cutting and folding methods to understand the several properties of different geometrical shapes.