Bakersfield teacher infuses math with music

KBAK/KBFX photo, file

A teacher found the hook to battle classroom boredom and connect with students.

Rachel Harless is helping music meet math at Stockdale High School. She teaches statics and finite math.

Her students code, using their calculators to create music through a hub, a small machine that produces sound. Each command represents a musical note.

Harless says bringing music into the classroom will help close a mathematical gap.

"Whenever we can incorporate music, I think it helps in the learning process," said Harless. "We memorize music so fast, you listen to two songs on the radio, singing along, and you didn't make flash cards for that."

It's boosting students confidence to tackle problem solving.

"I'm not the greatest at math, but when it came to this, it's something that makes me really interested," said senior Dylan Sullivan.

Sullivan coded 130 lines to play the "Star Wars" theme song.

Students were able to code any song making the hub technology sing.

"Having creativity in the math class, we don't do that that often, so having that, that creativity, interacting with what we were doing, that gives us a rewarding experience," said senior Ashkan Torkaman.

It's also helping students grasp coding. A skill used across almost every industry, and that is becoming necessary for some jobs.

"We're trying to incorporate a lot more technology in the classrooms so they're more prepared for the real world," said Harless.

The hub technology was made possible through One Classroom At a Time, where Eyewitness News helps bring a creative idea to life in the classroom.

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