# How Teachers Can Incorporate Math Modeling into Their Regular Curriculum

Math modeling isn’t just for competitions; it can become an integral part of daily classroom lessons. By embedding math modeling into daily curriculum, teachers can provide students with practical experience that strengthens their math skills and prepares them for success in contests like COMAP’s HiMCM® and MidMCM.

**Why Incorporate Math Modeling into Your Curriculum?**

Math modeling allows students to see how math is applied in real-world situations. When students work on math modeling problems, they’re not just solving equations—they’re learning how to think critically, analyze data, and make decisions. Incorporating math modeling into your everyday curriculum encourages these skills and builds confidence in students’ abilities to tackle complex problems.

**Practical Ways to Integrate Math Modeling into Daily Lessons**

Here are a few strategies for incorporating math modeling into your curriculum.

**1. Turn Standard Problems into Real-World Scenarios**

Instead of solving standard word problems, transform them into real-life challenges. For example, instead of asking students to calculate the volume of a cube, frame it as a packaging problem for a new product. This real-world context helps students see the relevance of their math skills and prepares them for future math modeling contests.

**2. Introduce Collaborative Problem-Solving**

Math modeling contests rely on teamwork, and students can begin practicing this collaboration in the classroom. Encourage group problem-solving sessions where students work together to develop solutions for open-ended problems. This approach mirrors the experience of math modeling contests, making students more comfortable with the format.

**3. Incorporate Current Events as a Source of Problems**

Tie lessons to what’s happening in the world. From climate change to economic issues, current events provide rich opportunities for math modeling. For instance, students could calculate the carbon impact of a city’s transportation system or model the effects of interest rate changes on homeownership. These real-world problems show students the power of math in addressing societal challenges.

**4. Create a Weekly Math Modeling Challenge**

Set up a "Math Modeling Challenge of the Week" to get students into the habit of thinking critically about real-world issues. These challenges can be small, open-ended problems that give students practice applying their math knowledge to unfamiliar situations. By doing this weekly, students build their confidence and problem-solving abilities over time.

**Preparing Students for Math Modeling Success**

Incorporating math modeling into your curriculum doesn’t just make math more engaging—it equips students with the tools they need to succeed in competitions like HiMCM and MidMCM. By making math modeling a part of daily lessons, you help students bridge the gap between classroom learning and real-world applications, setting them up for success in both math and life.

Encourage your students to participate in COMAP’s math modeling contests this year and watch their problem-solving skills soar! And for more math modeling and contest resources, check out these links:

- A Student Guide for Getting Started with Math Modeling
- COMAP Math Contest Advisor Guide: Quick Tips for Advising a Team
- How to Encourage Student Participation in Math Competitions
- Visualization + Discussion = Effective Team-Based Math Modeling
- 10 More Reasons to Participate in a Math Modeling Contest

# Written by

### COMAP

The Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications is an award-winning non-profit organization whose mission is to improve mathematics education for students of all ages. Since 1980, COMAP has worked with teachers, students, and business people to create learning environments where mathematics is used to investigate and model real issues in our world.