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For many, the simple thought of taking a Math course in college is enough to bring on a sweat! Many will admit that much of their prior knowledge is difficult to build on, since they have used calculators for the majority of their lives.

In one of my classes, a mini project is required wherein they each present a powerpoint of 40 different ways they can see  Math NOW in their daily lives.  It helps the students see that math is relevant...and everywhere (in sports, medicine, cooking, building,etc etc). 

When students"buy in"  to the possibility that what they are learning is important, that in itself is motivation.

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