Super Bowl Inspires Math Students

The first week of February found Mrs. Hockey’s Math Literacy Project Geometry class taking a break from transformations and trigonometry. Instead, they focused on a popular current event – the Super Bowl. Their task? Predict the winner of the big game using historical data on a statistic of their choice. Football lovers dug into season wins, turnovers, and sacks, while those who were new to the game chose to analyze jersey colors and mascots.

Julian is a football enthusiast and was thrilled to have a chance to connect his love for the game with his math course. He chose to collect data on the number of season sacks for the Super Bowl participants over the past 16 years. His prediction? The Kansas City Chiefs will win the Super Bowl because they had more sacks than the 49ers. Historically, this is what has happened!

When asked to share his thoughts on the course and the project, Julian said:

“MLP has had a strong impact on my ability to understand various math concepts, which was previously very challenging for me in traditional math classes. Being able to tie back math concepts with everyday life has really helped me to understand math concepts much better. I also feel that this form of learning has a great influence on helping me to learn and retain the math concepts which will be helpful lifelong. I really enjoyed the various projects that helped me to use math in everyday life. For example, the Super Bowl project was something that I really enjoyed creating because I love football. Being able to connect math concepts to something that I really enjoy was a wonderful and exciting experience for me. Another factor that I feel helped me to learn and enjoy MLP was Mrs. Hockey’s determination, patience, and hands-on guidance that helped me to succeed in learning the math concepts. Mrs. Hockey always had a pulse of what the students were feeling and needed. I will always remember the privilege to be a part of MLP.”

Julian’s hypothesis, data and prediction, which was complete the week prior to the Super Bowl is shown below.


Gwyn made the same prediction based on a different statistic. She chose to look at the number of turnovers that teams had throughout the season and was surprised to find that the teams that won the Super Bowl tended to have more turnovers than the losing teams. While Gwyn isn’t the biggest football fan, she still saw the benefit of this project for her learning.

“I am happy with how much better I’ve gotten in writing and math since joining this class and I cannot wait to see how much more growth I get.”

Gwyn’s hypothesis and data for her prediction is shared below.

Every year thousands of students have the opportunity to apply their understanding of collecting and analyzing data to make their own prediction regarding the outcome of the Super Bowl.  This has sparked a wide variety of conversations regarding the application of data and what is the difference between chance, causation, and likelihood.  MPASS Education focuses on using real-world context to motivate and inspire learning.

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