There aren't a whole lot of situations where EA Sports Madden NFL: Football by the Numbers would work better than going outside with your giant protractor and some footballs to play catch for awhile. Alternatively, you can visit football practice with some data loggers or measuring tapes and calculate force in person.
If you absolutely must have a football-themed math class (Green Bay, looking at you) and otherwise can't get outside, you might use this tool instead. Only use it as a very shallow introduction to the concepts, however, or as a way to talk about how difficult mathematical modeling of real-world events can be. Discussing the flaws on this site would be a very fruitful learning experience, but exposing kids to so much branded content might be too high of a price. On the other hand, it just might be perfect for that one student who can't stop playing Madden NFL long enough to do a homework assignment.Continue reading Show less
EA Sports Madden NFL: Football by the Numbers is an interactive website experience that uses the concepts and the language of American football, the players and teams of the National Football League, and footage from EA Sports' Madden NFL video game franchise to introduce and practice some math and physics concepts. Students read through content about the rules of the game, the history of the conferences, and details of play formations before learning about how angle, velocity, force, and probability are important concepts in the sport.
After learning these concepts by reading text (with pop-up definitions of various football vocabulary words), students use interactive sliders to change angles and velocities or adjust force and then watch simulated football footage rendered using Madden NFL's video game engine to see if their inputs were correct.
It's very difficult to recommend EA Sports Madden NFL: Football by the Numbers as a learning tool. The four math and science concepts covered (angle, velocity, probability, and force) are discussed in very shallow terms, with little specificity and with tenuous links between the content and the game of football. For example, defensive players aren't using F=kg*m/s² to calculate the necessary force to tackle a player on the fly, so making students do so is the kind of disingenuous link between school and real life that totally turns students off and seldom results in deep learning.
The site does go into great detail about plenty of football topics, so students can expect to learn tons about the NFL and, by extension, EA's video game version of the league. This just amplifies the feeling that students are playing through a big advertisement, not any kind of learning experience.
Key Standards Supported
Modeling With Geometry
Use geometric shapes, their measures, and their properties to describe objects (e.g., modeling a tree trunk or a human torso as a cylinder).
Number And Operations In Base Ten
Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
Key Standards Supported
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
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