For the Win: New NBA Problems Inside Math Techbook™
Discovery Education and the NBA and WNBA are teaming up to energize middle and high school classrooms with a new series of interactive math problems now available in Math Techbook. Inspired by game scenarios, with game footage and statistics, these NBA problems deepen students’ understanding of key math concepts like probability, ratio, variables, equations, weighted averages, and more.
Challenge students to predict who will be chosen for the All-NBA Teams by creating formulas based on available statistics, or have them predict how many assists a player is on track to have by the end of the season using proportions. Using an interactive NBA Math Tool, students can gather and analyze NBA and WNBA statistical categories, follow a favorite player or team, and predict player performance throughout the season. Students quickly see that math is essential in basketball, while engaging in problems worth solving and learning about diverse careers in sports.
Some of the problems students will tackle include:
2 Points or 3 Points?
Who Should Take the Free Throw?
Can You Predict the Winner?
Should the NBA Reset the Shot Clock?
Timing a Dunk Shot Takeoff
Do the NBA and WNBA Courts Use True Rectangles?
About Math Techbook™
Math Techbook is a breakthrough digital textbook for grades 6-8, that engages students with real-world problems worth solving. Using a balanced approach to instruction, Math Techbook facilitates in-depth understanding of all three pillars of rigor: conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application.
Here's the game plan: Let your students take a shot at a few of these problems, and watch them run to math team tryouts.
*These are not actual Math Techbook problems and are intended for demonstration purposes only.
Sample Apply Problem 1 of 4 (Middle School)
Who Should Take the Free Throw?
When the score is really close, and time is running out, coaches need to decide which player has the best chance of making a game-winning shot. In this problem, students play the role of coach and decide which player should take a technical free throw to win the game. Students use real-time statistics and their knowledge of percentages to figure it out.
An NBA basketball court is 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. Those might be the right dimensions for a player who is 6’10”, but is it the right size for a middle-school student? Using estimation and proportion, students will determine a court size that’s more appropriate for their height and stride length.
A bank shot is a shot that hits the backboard first. They can be very effective—sometimes, even more effective than straight-on shots. But bank shots aren’t possible from every spot on the floor. Using their knowledge of geometry and reflections, students will analyze the situation to determine the spots from which bank shots are possible.
Is the number of three-pointers a player makes related to the number of three-point shots that she attempts? That seems likely. Is the number of blocks related to free-throw percentage? Maybe not so much. In this problem, students will choose two stats that they think have a strong positive correlation, and then create a model to determine if there’s any relationship between them.
From the classroom to the court, the NBA is committed to providing educational and fun opportunities for youth to engage with the game of basketball. The Jr. NBA is the NBA’s youth basketball participation program for boys and girls ages 6-14, which helps grow and improve the youth basketball experience for all. The Jr. NBA teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game including teamwork, respect and sportsmanship – values that are critical on the court and in the classroom. Schools can register for the Jr. NBA program at no cost and participating schools will receive a variety of benefits, including a Jr. NBA Welcome Kit.