The Marshall community gathered today for an afternoon assembly to celebrate our math league team, which is headed to State next Monday.

A recent survey of 1,000 middle school students turned up some heartening feedback on how students in the US feel about mathematics. Conducted by aerospace contractor Raytheon, the poll was designed to evaluate interest in math and science. Math turned up as the third most popular item when asked: “What is your favorite subject?”

The winner — to nobody’s surprise — was PE.

An interesting side-element of the research (and displayed in the infographic below) is students’ preferences for hands-on or computer-assisted instruction over lectures based on textbooks.

In a separate study, conducted by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, 47% of high school dropouts reported that a major reason was “classes were not interesting” or they were “bored.” Unfortunately, 88% of drop outs are passing school when they decide to leave.