Mathematics is everywhere—in the home, in the garden, in stores, in cars and planes. . . . That makes it easy both to encourage kids to discover the mathematics in everyday life and to provide fun challenges during the summer. Here are some ideas you can pass on to families, emphasizing how important it is for students to keep their thinking and math skills honed so they don't lose ground over the summer.

Since summer can be a great time to work on teen's money management skills, discuss with teens the idea of saving for emergencies, for long-term goals during high school, or even for college. Perhaps the teens could pick a goal for savings and open a savings account. Taking a trip? Get out the maps and have the kids calculate distances and figure mileage and gas costs and develop a budget.

Can't go on a trip, but want to practice planning and money management? See Road Trip to Savings for a four-week, virtual road trip to learn about the challenges of traveling and financial stability.

Start playing a simple Sudoku puzzle in the newspaper, or find an online Sudoku puzzle with interactive features such as a How am I doing? button. Solving a Sudoku puzzle does not require using mathematics in the sense of calculating with numbers because the numbers 1–9 used in Sudoku puzzles are only placeholders. But Sudoku will challenge players to reason and think logically, which are important tools in mathematics. For fun, consider how a Sudoku puzzle would look, if, instead of the numerals 1–9, the first nine letters of the alphabet, A through I, are used as placeholders! The puzzle would look different, but the logic and reasoning involved would be the same.

Speaking of logic, ORC's Stella's Stunners website offers a fun set of interesting mathematics problems that will challenge thinking for kids in grade 6 and up. See Introductory Stella Problems for a great place to begin! Go to Who Is Stella? for background information about Stella and the problems.

From the ORC Collection

Calculation Nation (ORC #12848) features online games that are cool even for high school students!

See Tutorials for High School Mathematics for a handy review of twenty-six topics basic to student success in post-secondary science, computer science, and engineering courses. The online tutorial lessons are designed to help students review high school mathematics topics. Each tutorial lesson features a short teacher video reviewing the key mathematical procedures and ideas and demonstrating their application. Students are encouraged to work along as they watch the video. Several videos require the use of a graphing calculator. After viewing the video, students should take the Self-Check to evaluate their understanding of the topic.

Review or learn trigonometry with Dave's Short Trig Course (ORC #9812), a user-friendly, illustrated introduction to trigonometry with helpful applets. Topics include background information, trig functions and their inverses, trig identities, applications, and the law of sines and the law of cosines.

High school students and parents can consult the Occupational Outlook Handbook (ORC #3303) for information about different types of careers including the education needed and the expected job prospects.

Everything you ever want to know related to being ready to study calculus can be found at Pre-Calculus (ORC #1122). There are tutorials, applets, computer programs, and LiveMath notebooks and animations on precalculus topics including polynomial, rational, exponential, trigonometric, and logarithmic functions along with piecewise definitions, parametric equations, and polar coordinates.

The ORC Mathematics Bookshelf features outstanding trade books for students of all ages. Most books will be available at your local library. Here are some books that will be of interest to teens. See On Beyond a Million: An Amazing Math Journey for a fun take on the "original" googol. How Much Is a Million? offers great materials for thinking about large numbers, and If You Hopped Like a Frog presents an intriguing take on ratios and human versus animal capacities. For a clever romance or travel to distant places, be sure to check out Flatland: A Romance in Many Directions and One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale. For a true story of four inner-city middle school students and their quest to build the world's largest tetrahedron, see All of the Above. Finally, don't discount the first book on the bookshelf, Cardinal Numbers. This is much more than a counting book for younger students. Think of it as a peek into Ohio's rich history and a source of ideas for fun things to see and do in Ohio.

For teens who are independent mathematics learners, you'll find incredible applets at GeoGebra Applets for dynamic exploration of mathematics. They can also go to the GeoGebra home page to learn about creating mathematical images and interactive web pages.

Finally, learn a little about how engineering has changed the world. Go to A Sightseer's Guide to Engineering. Plan a family trip to an engineering marvel in your state, or include a site when traveling far from home.