- Sponsorship -

They did the monster math

The zombie apocalypse was upon us, and it was up to Algebra 2 students to figure out how much time was left before the entire population was infected with the virus of the undead.

With five zombies starting the rampage and the rate of infection increasing exponentially, after one year the whole world would be zombies, determined juniors Trenton Smith, Cortez Charleston and Jelen Reese, who presented the news during a broadcast in front of their Godwin Heights High School peers.

Making Math Add Up is a series on the difficulties students have learning math, and what methods some schools and teachers are using with success.

Other groups’ findings were just as dreadful: hungry zombies move through a population fast, it seems.

Students in Patti Reeder and James Rex’s classes were challenged to use exponential function to create a scenario in which zombies take over the world. They used the formula for exponential growth, which calculates how things double, triple and continue to increase, and displayed it on a graph.

Students created videos to tell the background story of zombie invasion, and wrote news articles and obituaries, adding literary flair to the numerical doom.

Junior Samuel Montanez announces the coming Zombie Apocalypse, in mathematical terms

Their newspaper and broadcast pieces included the initial number of zombies, the growth rate, and an exponential equation in the form y=a(1+r)t. Along with math, they included some journalistic basics: who, what, when, where and why, and directions to the masses: RUN!

“By two months, the population that will be affected will be 1,957,590 people,” said junior Jasmine Gonzalez.

Reeder and Rex collaborated on the project as a way to teach exponential growth in an engaging way.

“They had to pick their own growth rate and had to pick how many zombies there would be after one day, one week, one month and two months,” Reeder said.

“They love the creative side. The math is great, but they like to create a story and run with it… We get to do some writing about math, which (math itself) doesn’t always lend itself to.”

During their presentation James Horrell, Marcell Johnson and Samuel Montanez looked soberly at their audience. Using their equation, 5.7 million people would become zombies after a month.

“God bless our souls,” James said.


Profiting from Basic Math

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.


Young constitutional scholars view current events, politics through historical lens

East Grand Rapids and East Kentwood high school We the People team members have qualified for the national competition, becoming well versed in civics and critical thinking along the way...

Rain gutter regatta showcases buoyancy, engineering skills

An annual boat race has become a highlight of sixth-grade science class. At stake: bragging rights and 'a goofy trophy'...

The Hood family: a school & community leadership dynasty

Five generations have lived within a five- to six-mile radius dating back to a government work program in the 1930s...

The sky’s the limit (or is it?) for this accomplished model builder

Creative, innovative, imaginative … Many of today’s students are all that and more in a vast variety of interest areas. This series features students with exceptional and unusual gifts...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Have books, will deliver

To make sure virtual students still have access to books, this middle school media clerk built her own online platform for the library, created a contactless book pick-up at the school and is delivering books to students at their homes...

Schools, organizations step up to feed students, families

Area schools continue to provide free grab and go meals at regular distribution events and community partners are helping to fill in the gaps to make sure everyone is fed during a very challenging time...

Spreading some holiday cheer, at a safe distance

Godwin Heights High staff kept the tradition of celebrating the season and students with the annual event, tailored to social distancing...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU